Economy

Thumbnail image for On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

by Source 01.23.2015 Economy

Reproductive rights advocates say legislation would cause entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small businesses

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

On the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirms a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion, House Republicans passed a far-reaching anti-choice bill that women’s health advocates say would cause the entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small business who provide comprehensive health care to their employees.

After pulling a more extreme anti-abortion bill at the last minute due to intra-party dissent, the GOP on Thursday voted 242-179 in favor of alternative legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that restricts federal funds for abortion.

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Thumbnail image for Change the World, Change Yourself

Change the World, Change Yourself

by Will Falk 01.22.2015 Activism

By Will Falk

Friends and family tell me I too often focus on the negative. My doctors and therapists have told me me this, too. Diagnosed as I am with severe depression and surviving two suicide attempts, I used to believe them.

Part of my recovery involved completing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program. CBT assumes that changing the way a patient thinks leads to changes in mood and behavior. Patients keep “thought records” where they document negative thoughts and then challenge the validity of those thoughts with the help of a therapist. On the surface, CBT seems like a good way to combat depression, right?

I do not think so, anymore. I came to therapy feeling like I was the problem. My sensitivity to the problems I saw around me caused me profound grief. I felt guilty for my ineffectiveness as a public defender to stem the tide of poor people being thrown in prison. I felt guilty as a member of a natural community for being unable to stop the destruction from raging on. My doctors and therapists insisted that if I changed my perceptions then I would alleviate the grief. In other words, my doctors and therapists told me, “You cannot change the world, so change yourself.”

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Thumbnail image for Richest 1% Percent To Have More Than Rest of Humanity Combined

Richest 1% Percent To Have More Than Rest of Humanity Combined

by Source 01.21.2015 Business

New Oxfam report shows the scale of global inequality is ‘simply staggering’

by Jon Queally / Common Dreams

In less than two years, if current trends continued unchecked, the richest 1% percent of people on the planet will own at least half of the world’s wealth.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from Oxfam International, released Monday, which states that the rate of global inequality is not only morally obscene, but an existential threat to the economies of the world and the very survival of the planet. Alongside climate change, Oxfam says that spiraling disparity between the super-rich and everyone else, is brewing disaster for humanity as a whole.

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Thumbnail image for Extreme Weather Watch: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

Extreme Weather Watch: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

by John Lawrence 01.20.2015 Economy

By John Lawrence

It’s official: NOAA and NASA have confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Despite the fact of Arctic cold winters on the US east coast, the average earth surface temperature was the hottest on record. Those cold temperatures were more than made up for elsewhere.

The fact that the three hottest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 points in the direction that climate change is indeed a reality, a reality that is only getting worse as time goes on.

The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human activity. Climate change deniers have pointed to 1998 as the year they say the earth stopped warming. Despite the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record up to that point, that record has since been broken … many times!

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Thumbnail image for The Mayor’s State of the Chargers Speech: Where’s the Beef?

The Mayor’s State of the Chargers Speech: Where’s the Beef?

by Doug Porter 01.15.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a pile o’ promises in his decidedly optimistic State of the City speech last night.

“Never before has there been so much promise for our future,” said the Mayor. “After a decade of crises and crashes, San Diego is writing its comeback story and each of us has a line to contribute.”

Twin task forces will tackle paying for a football stadium and figuring out a way for locals to make enough money to afford tickets for seats at football games.  Streets will be repaired, government will become more efficient and the city will have a year round facility for the homeless.

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Thumbnail image for Black Wealth Matters

Black Wealth Matters

by Source 01.15.2015 Economy

For generations, white households have enjoyed far greater access to wealth and security than their black counterparts.

By Chuck Collins / OtherWords

As protesters march through our cities to remind us that black lives matter, grievances about our racially fractured society extend far beyond flashpoints over police violence.

What is the state of the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about, particularly as it relates to economic opportunity?

Racial inequality in earnings remains persistent. African-American workers under 35 earn only 75 cents on the dollar compared to their white contemporaries. Latinos earn only 68 cents.

Examining income alone, however, is like tracking the weather. If you want to explore the true tectonic shifts of the earth, you have to look at wealth and net worth — that is, what people own minus what they owe.

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Thumbnail image for Civita: The Largest Project in the Continued Destruction of Mission Valley

Civita: The Largest Project in the Continued Destruction of Mission Valley

by Frank Gormlie 01.13.2015 Business

Part 2

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag
In mid-October I wrote about how four large residential and commercial development projects and a handful of smaller ones slated for Mission Valley will complete the destruction of San Diego’s once lush green valley. Here, I begin to focus on the individual projects.

“Civita” roughly translated is Latin for citizenship, and it’s the name of the largest, most massive Mission Valley development going in right now – with perhaps a third already completed or being currently built. Once you step back and realize it’s scope, Civita is at once a horrifying and amazing place for all its audaciousness.

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Thumbnail image for Redefining the American Dream

Redefining the American Dream

by John Lawrence 01.13.2015 Business

By John Lawrence

The American Dream is the ideological underpinning of the middle class. Now that the middle class is disappearing, it no longer makes sense as historically defined.

Thom Hartmann (Rebooting the American Dream) and Hedrick Smith (Who Stole the American Dream) have defined the American Dream as a good job at good wages plus benefits. They bemoan the fact that this has pretty much gone by the wayside in today’s world.

Well, it’s time to get over it because the conditions that gave rise to middle class prosperity in America from 1945 to 1980 are not coming back.

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Thumbnail image for National Campaign to Increase Minimum Wage Takes Aim at San Diego

National Campaign to Increase Minimum Wage Takes Aim at San Diego

by Doug Porter 01.08.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of seven cities selected by the national AFL-CIO for a long-term effort to concentrate political and economic actions aimed at making increasing the minimum wage an issue in the next presidential election.

The labor federation’s President Richard Trumka announced the nationwide campaign Wednesday during first National Summit on Raising Wages, held at  Gallaudet University Washington, District of Columbia. More than 300 activists and labor leaders along with thousands of other people watching a live stream video also heard speeches by Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The AFL-CIO effort will kick off with statewide Raising Wages Summits in 2015 in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, typically the first four presidential primary states.

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Thumbnail image for Expanding the Veteran Sleeping Bag Distribution Program in San Diego

Expanding the Veteran Sleeping Bag Distribution Program in San Diego

by At Large 01.07.2015 Activism

By Stan Levin/ San Diego Veterans for Peace

The San Diego Chapter Veterans for Peace (SDVFP) has for the past several years been actively engaged in our signature charity the “Compassion Campaign.”

Some members had gotten together in 2010, before I became a member, and discussed the problem of homelessness in San Diego and what we might be able to do to help veterans who because of a variety of circumstances find themselves living on the street.

Out of this initial meeting and conversation was born our aggressive ongoing activity to try to improve the lives of those unfortunate people in some significant way. One member of SDVFP who had been homeless himself was asked what people on the street needed most. “Sleeping bags” was his response.

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Thumbnail image for A View on Cuba’s Opening From the De Facto U.S. Colony of Puerto Rico

A View on Cuba’s Opening From the De Facto U.S. Colony of Puerto Rico

by Source 01.07.2015 Business

The hard questions of the Obam-apertura.

By Ed Morales / NACLA

The “momentous” yet seemingly long-planned announcement that the United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations was an odd end to a chaotic year of crises and strife.

From the summer of renewed violence in Gaza and the surge of unaccompanied children on the Mexican border to the anguish of Mike Brown/Ferguson and Eric Garner/Staten Island and the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, there seemed to be no end to conflagrations of long-stirring conflicts that expose the myth of American exceptionalism.

The cost of freedom in the first-est of First Worlds that we live in is the increasing precariousness of life outside our borders—a carnage that is often not connected to our comfort, yet is a result of the burgeoning inequality created by the gospel of globalization. Yet now, perhaps one of the sorest points of contention in the hemisphere, the 50-year U.S.-imposed embargo of Cuba, is finally being acknowledged as a mistake.

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Thumbnail image for The Bail-In: How You and Your Money Will Be Parted During the Next Banking Crisis

The Bail-In: How You and Your Money Will Be Parted During the Next Banking Crisis

by John Lawrence 01.06.2015 Business

By John Lawrence

There will be no more taxpayer bailouts for the Big Wall Street banks. That much has been established by the lobbied to death Dodd-Frank banking reform (yeah, right) bill.

However, instead of taking money from the government (taxpayers), the principal has been established that the next source of money for profligate banks will be your deposit accounts. Yeah, that’s right, the money to stabilize the banking sector during the next crisis will come out of your savings and checking accounts.

To add insult to injury – since the banks pay you zero percent on your savings account in the first place – the banks have the right to confiscate your funds if they crash the economy again as they did in 2008. Remember the Great Recession? It’s coming again to a bank near you.

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Thumbnail image for How Will Civic San Diego Serve Neighborhoods?

How Will Civic San Diego Serve Neighborhoods?

by Jim Bliesner 01.05.2015 Activism

By Jim Bliesner

Civic San Diego (Civic SD) has recently been holding community dialogue sessions facilitated by Cheryl Phelps and the new Director Reese Jarrett, both veterans of community and economic development in San Diego.

The first session was inclusive and allowed input. The second event featured a panel of downtown experts with limited community engagement. The third will happen at the City Heights library (3795 Fairmount Ave) on January 8 at 5:30PM.

According to the announcement “On January 8, 2015, Civic San Diego will hold a third convening regarding its new initiative to create a broad-based collaborative network of stakeholders to inform the development of our Community Benefits goals. This convening will introduce the online engagement platform where, over the next several weeks, stakeholders will be able to share their interests, collaborate to evolve ideas, and identify and prioritize shared values for their neighborhoods.” The process will result in some goals and values from the perspective of Civic SD. The neighborhoods might have a different idea in mind and see the need for some serious negotiations.

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Thumbnail image for 2014 Wrap Up: The Tide Turns on Rape Culture, Climate Change and Same Sex Marriage

2014 Wrap Up: The Tide Turns on Rape Culture, Climate Change and Same Sex Marriage

by Doug Porter 01.02.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

The term rape culture became mainstream in 2014. Practices and behavior in society excusing or otherwise tolerating sexual violence were exposed. Activists around the country took to the streets to push back. Examples, ranging from the callousness of the San Diego City Attorney’s office accusing a sexual assault victim of trying to bribe a police officer with her underwear to investigations into the widespread accommodation of rape in college fraternities, were given wide media coverage.

The ecological crisis facing the planet was another subject getting increased attention this year. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in New York and other cities, including San Diego, in September demanding action on man made climate change. Despite evidence supporting the impending dangers accumulated throughout the year, dirty energy apologists leveraged their economic and political resources, hoping to block actions limiting greenhouse gas in 2015.

Finally, there was some terrific news for a supporters of marriage equality this past year, as court decisions and legislatures rolled back restrictions on same sex marriage. These victories were a testament to the validity of persistent long term activism on many fronts as an effective strategy.

Welcome to Day Three of the Starting Line’s summation of 2014’s top stories. On Wednesday the focus was on challenges not met in San Diego. Yesterday I wrote about issues of economic and radial justice rising to the forefront of the local and national consciousness.

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Thumbnail image for Lessons Learned in 2014: #FightforFifteen and #Icantbreathe

Lessons Learned in 2014: #FightforFifteen and #Icantbreathe

by Doug Porter 01.01.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

Welcome to Day Two of the Starting Line’s summation of 2014. Yesterday the focus was on challenges not met in San Diego. Today we’ll look at some serious challenges rising to the forefront of the local and national consciousness.

Struggles for economic justice and ending racism (re) emerged as serious issues over the past year, and there certainly is every indication they’ll remain at the forefront in 2015. Taking the long view, it seems as though in the past we’ve ended up in the past settling for half a loaf in these matters; the symptoms got treated but never the disease.

Promises of hope and change have run into the politics of “No.” Often the personification of that attitude is the Republican Party, a convenient diversion from the reality that the underlying attitudes are part of our national consciousness. Entitlement based on race, wealth and class are as American as apple pie. Passing laws and declarations by elected leaders can no longer be regarded as a substitute for changing our culture.

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Thumbnail image for Lessons Not Learned in 2014, Part One: Tourism and Law Enforcement

Lessons Not Learned in 2014, Part One: Tourism and Law Enforcement

by Doug Porter 12.31.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Five days a week, fifty weeks out of the year I write about the news. Mostly I write about local stories. And what I’m always trying to do, in addition to sharing information, is to make sense of all these events from a progressive point of view.

For the rest of this week I’ll discuss stories deserving to be part of our understanding of how things actually work in San Diego. The fast breaking nature of news and information these days, I think, discourages taking the long view.

I propose a New Year’s Eve toast to the concept of having a local historical memory longer than that of a goldfish. May we someday get to the point where our public servants learn from past mistakes.

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Thumbnail image for Country Club America and the Ghost of Ayn Rand

Country Club America and the Ghost of Ayn Rand

by John Lawrence 12.23.2014 Culture

By John Lawrence

I was startled into wakefulness by the ghost of Ayn Rand, she the author of the Virtue of Selfishness and sundry other solipsistic tomes.

Unlike Scrooge, she is not the least bit repentent. She told me of her new concept of Country Club America. Not everyone deserves to be a member. It’s sort of a metaphysical walled community in which some people get to join; others are left out. Only the Best, the Brightest and the Most Beautiful can be members.

The rest – the homeless, the hoi polloi, the common people, vagabonds, hippies, the proletariat, rabble and riffraff cannot be members.

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Thumbnail image for 12 Days of Christmas Apologies

12 Days of Christmas Apologies

by Source 12.23.2014 Business

By Paul Buchheit / Common Dreams

If Christmas magic were real, America’s political and business leaders — the people with power and money — would speak on behalf of the nation they’ve debased:

1. To Our Most Neglected Citizens

By the time the Koch brothers wake up on Christmas morning, the wealth the two men will have accumulated throughout the night could get a room for the night for every one of the 633,000 homeless Americans.

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Thumbnail image for The Season for Mindless Consumerism

The Season for Mindless Consumerism

by Source 12.13.2014 Culture

This Christmas, put your money to better use than thoughtless gift-giving.

By  / OtherWords

‘Tis the season for mindless consumerism.

I love giving gifts when they’re from the heart. But I hate giving or receiving presents if they’re things nobody needs, given out of a sense of obligation.

Here’s a story that illustrates what I mean. Back in college, a friend of mine approached me and said, “I just want to give you a heads up, my new girlfriend bought you a gift.”

Uh-oh, I thought. I didn’t even get him a gift, let alone her. But without missing a beat, I replied, “Oh, that’s so sweet! Well, I got her something too.”

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Thumbnail image for Who is Mike McCoy?

Who is Mike McCoy?

by At Large 12.10.2014 Activism

By bzzaragoza / South Bay Compass

Eye on the Locals: In the micro-world of our communities, many people dedicate their lives to bettering our neighborhoods and end up bettering the world. Mike McCoy of Imperial Beach is heralded as the individual who helped save the largest coastal wetland in Southern California. Here is his story:

Mike McCoy grew up in Boulder, Colorado and came to San Diego in 1970, the year he graduated veterinarian school and got an internship at the San Diego Zoo. While going to vet school, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and it qualified him to land that particular internship. It was the first long extended internship they offered at the zoo.

It was here that he met his wife, Patricia McCoy, an Englishwoman from London who fled to the countryside during the WWII bombings. She eventually became a city council member in Imperial Beach and they both were avid environmental activists.

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Thumbnail image for Republican Megadonors Seek to ‘Clear the Field’ for a Single Preferred Candidate

Republican Megadonors Seek to ‘Clear the Field’ for a Single Preferred Candidate

by Source 12.10.2014 Economy

By Hunter / Daily Kos

This makes perfect sense. Republican megadonors dominate what’s left of “establishment” Republicanism and damn it, they’re tired of writing checks that they shouldn’t have to write.

Dozens of the Republican Party’s leading presidential donors and fund-raisers have begun privately discussing how to clear the field for a single establishment candidate to carry the party’s banner in 2016, fearing that a prolonged primary would bolster Hillary Rodham Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate.

The conversations, described in interviews with a variety of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors, are centered on the three potential candidates who have the largest existing base of major contributors and overlapping ties to the top tier of those who are uncommitted: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Mitt Romney.

If more than one of those “establishment” candidates runs, wealthy Republicans will have to choose which of them to support, meaning various wealthy Republicans will pick different sides, and then those candidates will be forced to battle it out in the primaries with gobs of millionaire cash.

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Thumbnail image for Chicago set to raise minimum wage to $13

Chicago set to raise minimum wage to $13

by Source 12.04.2014 Activism

By Laura Clawson / Daily Kos

Chicago is likely to be the next city to raise its minimum wage, with its city council voting Tuesday on an increase supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

The mayor’s revised minimum wage ordinance would raise the hourly minimum wage in Chicago each year in July, starting with an increase to $10 next year. It would then go up to $10.50 in 2016, $11 in 2017, $12 in 2018, and $13 in 2019.After 2019, the city’s minimum wage would go up each year at a rate equal to the rise in the Consumer Price Index.

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Thumbnail image for To Counter Rise of Oligarchy, Sanders Pitches Progressive Economic Vision

To Counter Rise of Oligarchy, Sanders Pitches Progressive Economic Vision

by Source 12.03.2014 Business

Amid speculation over 2016 presidential run, senator from Vermont lays out 12-step plan to combat 40-year decline of middle class and rampant inequality

By Jon Queally / Common Dreams

In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced his vision for a progressive economic agenda that he says could restore shared prosperity, reinvigorate the middle class, and mitigate a host of social crises that stem from the current system that has created great wealth for a select few while systematically eroding the quality of life for the many.

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Thumbnail image for Tiny Home Village for Homeless Opens in Wisconsin

Tiny Home Village for Homeless Opens in Wisconsin

by Source 11.29.2014 Activism

By Jen Hayden / Daily Kos

Out of the Occupy Madison protests a cool idea was hatched: Building 98-square-foot homes for those without. The homes have a bed, kitchen, bathroom, storage and propane heat. Future residents take part in building the homes.

The homes cost just $3,000 to construct, most of it funded by community donations. A revolving crew of volunteers provided the labor, including Betty Ybarra. Previously homeless, she now resides in the home she helped construct. “It’s exciting. I’ve never even owned my own house,” Ybarra told WMTV

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Thumbnail image for What to Do When Black Friday Isn’t Your Thing

What to Do When Black Friday Isn’t Your Thing

by At Large 11.28.2014 Activism

By Debbie Forward

Black Friday Walmart Actions in the San Diego Area

Grossmont 11am– 8820 Grossmont Blvd, La Mesa
Aero 10am– 3382 Murphy Canyon Rd, SD
Logan 10am– 2121 Imperial Ave, SD

If you’re one of the humans who believe holidays are for friends and families, nobody should be forced to work on Thanksgiving Day, and you steer away from the shopping masses on Black Friday, well, here’s something worthy of your consideration.

Thousands of people like you are signing up to join peaceful demonstrations at hundreds of Walmarts across the country to support the stores’ employees in their quest for decent working conditions. Some of those rallies are already planned in San Diego County. Even in North County. Gasp.

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