Thumbnail image for The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

by John Lawrence 11.14.2014 Environment

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

By John Lawrence

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop. Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

The US military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. If it were a country, the Department of Defense (DoD) would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden.

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Thumbnail image for Women’s Perspectives and Changing Roles In the US and Iraq War

Women’s Perspectives and Changing Roles In the US and Iraq War

by Lori Saldaña 11.14.2014 Gender

By Lori Saldaña

In March 2010, Katherine Bigelow made history at the Academy Awards, by winning in the Best Director category. This was the first time a woman had done so in the Academy’s history. She won for her film “Hurt Locker,” about men who disarm IED’s (improvised explosive devices) in Iraq.

“Hurt Locker” was also was named Picture of the Year, and won for Best Sound Editing- so congratulations for all that, too, Ms. Bigelow. Well done.

If you haven’t seen it, “Hurt Locker” is an amazing and suspenseful film — with hardly a woman character in it. Ms. Bigelow managed to capture the drama, setting, heat and dust of Iraq very well. Yet you would never know the reality of women in Iraq from this movie.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Kristallnacht

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Kristallnacht

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 11.14.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

It’s Kristallnacht
whenever anger picks up a stone
and throws it
through a neighbor’s window
shattering glass
into blades
sparks slashed from rocks
adding fire to eternal flame

Whenever an Israeli settler
builds a house
on land stripped from Gaza
Zionism becomes Lebensraum

Yesterday’s Synagogue
is today’s Mosque
leveled by Sunni shock troops
using the latest wonder-weapons made in Amerika …

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Thumbnail image for Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

by Doug Porter 11.13.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Anthony Bernal, currently employed as Director of Business and Community Projects for Council President Todd Gloria, has thrown his hat in the ring to replace his termed-out boss in the Third District.

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Thumbnail image for Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

Stand with Indigenous Peoples, Stop the Pipelines

by Will Falk 11.13.2014 Activism

As so often happens, Native Americans are leading the fight to save the world.

By Will Falk

While half of the world’s species are disappearing, while the remaining 48 hunter/gatherer societies are literally fighting for their survival, while 32 million acres of rainforest are cut down a year, and while three hundred tons of topsoil are lost a minute, we are again at war with those who would destroy the planet.

There have been many wars fought on behalf of our life-giving land in North America. The overwhelming majority of those killed in defense of the land have come from peoples like the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Black Hawks, and the Apache. Native Americans have long stood in the way of this destructive culture. It is time that we join with Native Americans and other dominated peoples around the world who are at war. It is time that we, the privileged in this settler culture, step off our pedestal and onto the battlefield to place our bodies in harm’s way like so many indigenous people have before us and continue to do today.

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Thumbnail image for I Wanted to Write an Anti-War Poem, But…

I Wanted to Write an Anti-War Poem, But…

by At Large 11.13.2014 Books & Poetry

By Emmanuel Ortiz

Ever since the war started,
One year ago today,
I have wanted to write an anti-war poem.
For each of the last 365 days
I have been trying to write
To voice my opinion
In opposition to this war.

But nothing has come out.

After five days of watching
And not watching
Bombs fall on Iraq
I thought I had it
When some white boy
During a soccer game
Told me to “go back to Baghdad”
And as my fists found his temples
In retaliation for the bombs that were obliterating theirs
I remember thinking to myself
Amidst the slow-motion home-movie haze
“This will make a great poem”
A poem about
How he mistook
Mesoamerica for Mesopotamia
Borinken for Babylon.
And why Baghdad
Instead of Brasilia, Beijing, Beirut, Bogotá, Bombay,
Even Bi-racialville U.S.A.

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Thumbnail image for Learning About Counter-Recruitment With Project YANO (Youth And Non-Military Opportunities)

Learning About Counter-Recruitment With Project YANO (Youth And Non-Military Opportunities)

by At Large 11.13.2014 Activism

By Jesus Mendez-Carbajal / Draft NOtices

In the past nine months as Project YANO’s 2013-2014 student intern, I have learned an immense amount of information about U.S. militarism, its far reach, and counter-recruitment. I have been directly impacted on multiple levels.

I have grown mentally through the knowledge I have gained and also personally through the interactions and relationships I have built with youth, advisors, teachers, mentors, and Project YANO supporters, volunteers and board members.

I have had the pleasure of working with students who look like me, engaging low-income youth of color who have stories and backgrounds similar to my own.

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Thumbnail image for The Natural Voting Cycle

The Natural Voting Cycle

by Eric J. Garcia 11.13.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

by Doug Porter 11.12.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Attendance and revenues continue to fall at SeaWorld, according to financial reports released today. The stock market reacted to the news, sending shares in the company down 10.3% by mid-day. 

Third-quarter net income fell 28%, revenues fell 8% and  attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago.  According the Bloomberg’s Business Insider, the price for stock in SeaWorld has fallen 51% since the movie Blackfish premiered on July 19, 2013. 

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Thumbnail image for After the Wars, City Heights

After the Wars, City Heights

by Anna Daniels 11.12.2014 City Heights: Up Close & Personal

By Anna Daniels

Why does City Heights physically look the way it does and why does it have such distinctive demographics? The case can be made that City Heights has been shaped both by design–the adoption of the Mid-City Plan in 1965– and by happenstance in the form of the fall of Saigon one decade later.

The Mid-City Plan provided a blueprint of sorts for stimulating business and commercial growth that is reflected in the built environment.  The fall of Saigon and the subsequent resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees in City Heights also became a blueprint of sorts for influencing the ever changing demographics of the individuals who would move within the built environment.

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Thumbnail image for Extreme Weather Watch: October 2014 – Drought in Australia and Brazil

Extreme Weather Watch: October 2014 – Drought in Australia and Brazil

by John Lawrence 11.12.2014 Editor's Picks

By John Lawrence

Australia experienced its second warmest October on record. A number of records were set during the month in particular for the warmest October day on record for Australia as a whole. Nationally-averaged rainfall during October was 59% below the long-term mean which made October 2014 Australia’s seventh-driest October on record.

Large parts of Australia continue to be affected by drought. Drier than normal conditions from October to December are forecast for broad areas of Eastern, Central and Northern Coastal areas of Australia. Temperatures over 50C or 120F are forecast as Australia heads into its summer.

Australian farmers are feeling less confident as prices for wool, grains, dairy products and beef go down. A quarter of farmers expect conditions to deteriorate, around 20% expect the performance of their farm business to worsen and 25% expect their farm income to fall.

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Thumbnail image for War & Peace: In My Classroom

War & Peace: In My Classroom

by Lori Saldaña 11.12.2014 Books & Poetry

By Lori Saldaña

My students wear their battle scars
In their brains, on their skin, thru their 10 key dexterity
They enter the computer lab with aching hearts and minds, hand me a
Veterans Affair ID card in exchange for
A textbook, a software program, a few hours on the keyboard
I watch them, marveling at their resiliency …

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Rep’s “Honky” Navigates the Murky Waters of Race, Rhetoric and Basketball Shoes

San Diego Rep’s “Honky” Navigates the Murky Waters of Race, Rhetoric and Basketball Shoes

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 11.12.2014 Culture

An interview with playwright Greg Kalleres about the West Coast premier

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

Greg Kallares felt inspired while writing TV commercials for Jordan and Nike during his undergraduate years in New York. As his insight into the advertising industry grew and his own writing progressed he felt the need to write a play.

“I was very much inspired by the industry,” Kalleres told the San Diego Free Press. “It is a very white industry. I was struck by how white it was and how comical it became to watch people discuss the demographics with a certain level of discomfort.”

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Thumbnail image for La Jolla Shores Sundown

La Jolla Shores Sundown

by At Large 11.12.2014 Books & Poetry

By Karen Kenyon

You are rolled up in your blanket now,
perhaps 40 feet feet from my car
olive brown, army-colored,
here by the peaceful Pacific
tree-willow blue,
Paler near us, darker
near the horizon.

It’s almost time for the green flash,
but you don’t care. …

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Thumbnail image for A Hard-won and Bittersweet Victory for San Diego Taxi Drivers

A Hard-won and Bittersweet Victory for San Diego Taxi Drivers

by Doug Porter 11.11.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Years of grass roots organizing paid off yesterday as the City Council voted 8-1 to eliminate a cap on the number of taxi permits issued in San Diego.

The United Taxi Workers of San Diego (UTWSD) grew out of an unsuccessful driver strike in December, 2009. Roughly 300 drivers took part, asking for a reduced weekly lease rate, a guaranteed day off per week, sick days, better job security and better-maintained vehicles.

The taxi industry in San Diego has been functioning as a government licensed fiefdom, with a several hundred permit holders leasing their vehicles to immigrants (mostly) from East Africa who introduce others to the job after arriving in the region.

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Thumbnail image for Please Don’t Thank Me For My Service

Please Don’t Thank Me For My Service

by At Large 11.11.2014 Military

Veterans Day, Any Year

By Hal V. J. Muskat

I’ve dreamt my name is on The Wall in Washington, DC.

And, right now, I’m thinking That Wall; I’m recalling also trips to the Armory with my dad, an officer in the National Guard. I’m thinking of my uncle, a WWII and Korean vet who just celebrated his 94th birthday. I’m thinking of those two hundred names and faces I can’t remember, eighteen and nineteen year old kids from my Basic Training company, KIA long before their 20th birthdays. I’ve seen their names on that wall while looking for my own.

Every time I hear, “Thank-you for serving!” I want to reply, “Fuck You!” But, I usually ask, “For What are you thanking me? Shooting old people and children or NOT shooting them?”

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Thumbnail image for Reclaim Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes

Reclaim Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes

by At Large 11.11.2014 Activism

 By Arnold “Skip” Oliver

More than a few veterans, Veterans For Peace among them, are troubled by the way Americans observe Veterans’ Day on November 11th. It was originally called Armistice Day, and established by Congress in 1926 to “perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations, (and later) a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.” For years, many churches rang their bells on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – the time that the guns fell silent on the Western Front by which time 16 million had died.

To put it bluntly, in 1954 Armistice Day was hijacked by a militaristic congress, and today few Americans understand the original purpose of the occasion, or even remember it. The message of peace seeking has vanished. Now known as Veterans’ Day, it has devolved into a hyper-nationalistic worship ceremony for war and the putatively valiant warriors who wage it.

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Thumbnail image for Remembering the Looks in their Eyes

Remembering the Looks in their Eyes

by At Large 11.11.2014 Government

By Dana Levy

I was drafted into the US Army in 1966 and my (our) country seems to have been at war ever since. I was sent to Germany after my training in Basic and AIT as a soldier and order taker because my next older brother (drafted 2 months ahead of me) was in Korea.  The benevolent country of the USA wouldn’t send two brothers to a war zone at the same time back then.

We (this includes us all) don’t have such a policy any more and it is every man–whether young or old– for himself, not to mention the many women involved now. My supposition is that the new policy stems from the fact that we now have an all volunteer military. I only did two years in the service to my country and it is still constantly always right under the surface of my thoughts and actions.

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Thumbnail image for Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine)

Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine)

by Jay Powell 11.11.2014 Activism

By Jay Powell

Surrender your free will to the machine.
That is the act performed,
when you enlist or accept a commission
and take the oath to obey,
without reservation.

They don’t tell you that,
when you are 16 or 17 or 18 or 19 years young.
Your brain, no matter how incredibly brilliant,
is not fully formed and hooked together (scientific fact).
You are still a babe,
whether you know it or not. …

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Thumbnail image for War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press

by Anna Daniels 11.10.2014 Activism

By Anna Daniels

Almost one hundred years ago President Woodrow Wilson declared in vaulting prose that World War I was the war to end all wars, that it would make the world safe for democracy.  The vaulting prose came to naught– the war to end all wars didn’t.

The reality is that the United States doesn’t wage peace with anywhere near the same commitment that it wages war. The veterans who march in the Veterans Day parades this week, as well as those who consciously choose not to, will represent  a constant succession of wars, declared and undeclared, since World War II.

The Cold War. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. The Gulf War. The War in Afghanistan. The Iraq War.

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Thumbnail image for DeMaio Concedes, Police Documents Raise Questions About Who Knew What, When

DeMaio Concedes, Police Documents Raise Questions About Who Knew What, When

by Doug Porter 11.10.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Democratic incumbent Congressman Scott Peters has emerged victorious in the contentious electoral contest to represent the 52nd district in the House of Representatives. But that victory may yet come with an asterisk.

GOP candidate Carl DeMaio conceded defeat in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday. He reportedly will make the formal concession to Peters, who is vacationing in Europe, following the final vote count late on Monday. As this is being written the incumbent has a 4700 vote lead over the challenger.

The fallout from the race in the 52nd may be far from over. The San Diego Police Department  released 211 pages of documents this weekend associated with eight search warrant affidavits issued over a two month period last summer. New bits and pieces of the story surrounding the break-in of DeMaio’s office and allegations of sexual harassment have emerged. It’s a conspiracy theorists’ field day.

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Thumbnail image for Baghdad Tattoo

Baghdad Tattoo

by Source 11.10.2014 Books & Poetry

By Janet Parkinson /Poems Against War

Jalal Ahmed 07901 295135
Ali Abbas 07901 567256
Atheer Mohammad 07901 469798
are incised on my thigh.

My wife sees them when we make love.
I see them when I bathe, change clothes.
They are high enough to be covered
at the beach. I do not want
the world to know my fear.

I do not want the world to know
I have reason to fear. …

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Thumbnail image for Hold on to Freedom

Hold on to Freedom

by Bob Dorn 11.10.2014 Military

By Bob Dorn

Freedom.  A word we don’t hear lately, cheated of life by politicians who told us that’s what wars are for.

After all those wars fought in its name, did we lose the concept, freedom?  What took its place? Hate?  Maybe that’s what’s left.

We’ve been suffocated by war; our culture is dying from it.  Road rage is normal. The military mails advanced war games to little boys whose memories of all those explosions can be tickled once they reach 18, all ready for the next “conflict.”  War is just a digital metaphor, a collection of remote buttons until they’re turned into launcher’s buttons.

Yipeee… they’re all gonna die, is that what Country Joe sang?  Nope, he said, we’re all gonna die.

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Thumbnail image for Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now?  Just Say No

Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now? Just Say No

by Jim Miller 11.10.2014 Activism

By Jim Miller

Last week progressives in California rightfully felt a bit relieved that their state served as a seawall against the ocean of red that washed across America.

Outside of our reactionary little backwater here in San Diego where Carl DeMaio can pretend to be moderate and almost win despite multiple scandals, there were bright spots in the rest of the state like the election of rising progressive star Betty Yee as State Controller and the re-election of Tom Torlakson who beat back the billionaire boys club’s effort to put a corporate education reform advocate in the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office.

Thus, just as New York’s Democratic Governor Cuomo launches a civil war against the unions in his state in the service of corporate interests, California will serve as an alternative model of cooperation rather than confrontation. In most places on the Left Coast, even when nobody shows up, the right just can’t seem to win, and Brown, while far from perfect, prefers to sit happily on the fence between the neoliberal Democrats and the progressives, ruling in his distinctly idiosyncratic fashion.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 2-8

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 2-8

by Brent E. Beltrán 11.09.2014 Looking Back at the Week

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 lead up to the election, the election and the aftermath of the election (thank the gods it’s over!), the Corporate Welfare Defense League, a toon on Mexico’s skeletons, more on the NH, gas down/solar up, peeing on the tomatoes, the answer to the local rag, the center is a political graveyard, and more, plus a plethora of news about the People’s Republic of OB.

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