Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s All In reports that one of the last acts of the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has been to block any vote on the U.S. involvement in Yemen by inserting a rule into the farm bill with language that achieves that purpose. The HuffPost notes that five Democrats joined Republicans in adding that language to the farm bill. The U.S. currently provides many support functions for the Saudi War in Yemen which has starved tens of thousands and threatens to starve 14 million people. [Read more…]
A congressional hearing on the economic consequences of a $15 hourly minimum wage was cancelled this week due to revelations about bigotry penned under the guise of satire by one of its primary witnesses, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia.
The House Education and Workforce Committee was ready to feature testimony asserting poverty wages are in the national interest.
Sabia, an economist who penned a paper titled Minimum Wages: A Poor Way to Reduce Poverty, was to be their star witness until his past came back to haunt him. [Read more…]
Like many San Diegans, I came from elsewhere. Both other places I had lived are in colder climes, so when I first came here (on a short winter vacation that became permanent) I was fascinated with the way Christmas is celebrated in warm latitudes. Like flocking of Christmas trees to simulate snow. What? I never even heard of that until I got to SoCal.
But what I really like is not ways that cold-weather traditions are mutated, but rather the original ways that a holiday associated with winter and being indoors is celebrated in warm weather. [Read more…]
Dear Ohio – The Last Installment
From my new place in the soul of the universe, where I have resided only days, I look down at my worthless life as an immigrant.
Who am I, Hermelinda Barbachano, to say my life was of value to my fellow Americans?
I leave behind useful but few belongings – minimal furniture, used clothing, some old small kitchen appliances, extra medical supplies, a wheelchair, a portable commode and a walker. Beyond that, I fear you might be blind to the gifts I have given you. After all, we live in a time when material things are the only gifts that matter. [Read more…]
Don’t believe that Trump is an idiot? Don’t take our word for it. Ask Google Images … Go ahead, try it. [Read more…]
I remember a time not so long ago when the very idea of Georgette Gomez sitting on the City Council (let alone being President and setting the agenda), would have been considered wishful thinking in local political circles.
Gomez ran for the District 9 Council seat as the outsider, the person with progressive principles and a background in environmental activism. She persisted, made it through the primary and, despite the not-so-covert maneuvering of the usual propertied suspects, won in the November 2016 general election.
The vote to confirm Gomez as City Council President was unanimous, with both Republicans singing her praises. Go figure–having principles and being honest can foster real progress. [Read more…]
By Julia Conley / Common Dreams
Before presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even appeared at her office to hear from young Americans who had traveled from all over the country to urge her to back a Green New Deal, Capitol police arrived Monday and arrested more than 60 of the protesters. As of this writing, at least 143 demonstrators had been arrested as they lobbied in 50 congressional offices.
More than 1,000 young people and allies flooded the Capitol Hill hallways and offices of Democratic representatives to demand that elected officials listen to their youngest constituents—as well as some of the world’s top scientists—and back the bold proposal to shift the U.S. to a zero-carbon energy system by 2050 in order to save the planet from an irreversible climate catastrophe. Thanks to efforts spearheaded by the youth-led Sunrise Movement, the number of Democratic lawmakers now supporting a Select Committee on a Green New deal has now swelled to 23. [Read more…]
Border Patrol agents in riot gear stop faith leaders in Border Field State Park
By American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
On the afternoon of December 10th, dozens of faith leaders were arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience at the U.S.-Mexico border. More than 400 people of faith and supporters gathered in Border Field State Park in San Diego in support of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. Faith leaders guided the group in a solemn procession to the border. When they reached the enforcement zone, they were stopped by a line of Border Patrol agents in riot gear. Leaders moved forward to offer a ceremonial blessing. Thirty people were taken into custody. [Read more…]
The deadline this year for enrolling in an ACA health plan is December 15th. President Barack Obama is back to remind potential enrollees of the need to sign up for health insurance coverage at HealthCare.gov by that date. [Read more…]
Still looking for a good explanation of the current dynamics of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia? Hasan Minhaj has you covered; facts and biting humor make it real. [NSFW: language] [Read more…]
Today’s Union-Tribune has a front page article about hate crimes in San Diego County. There are lots of details about criminal/hate-inspired actions and almost no acknowledgement as to what motivates them.
Hate crimes are up, we’re told. While local prosecutions have increased in the past year, most hate crimes aren’t reported.
A majority (60%) of hate crimes are directed at people based on their race or ethnicity, followed by religion (20%) and LGBTQ (16%) orientation. [Read more…]
The San Diego Free Press will soon be gone. And with its departure, San Diego will be losing a precious space—the only unapologetically progressive outlet in the city.
We had a good run through some incredibly challenging times locally and nationally and did enough excellent work to irritate a fair number of politicians and local power brokers.
That’s worth celebrating. [Read more…]
I had a moment a little while ago when I was thinking about the notion that democrats, in spite of recent political victories (Yes!!!) need to come up with a message or at least a snappy meme, that resonates with voters (and more and more people are becoming so designated).
In that same moment I happened to turn the TV on and a man on C-SPAN was discussing superheroes, how they are mostly about creating a better world, citing Superman’s pursuit of “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”
That triggered in my mind, right away, long ago days, when I was all caught up in the excitement of “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” feigning flying, with a croker sack or a pillow case or half a sheet tied to my neck, rescuing dames in distress and going upside the head of evil geniuses and tricksters and anyone daring to challenge my super powers – seeking, basically, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” [Read more…]
It was 1975. My parents got the bright idea to escape the Philadelphia winter by taking the kids on a two-week California trip. This vacation wasn’t well-planned and cushy like the times we stayed at the Greenbriar, the Waldorf, or those hotels in Italy. The California vacation was an impromptu, free-wheeling, down-and-dirty road trip. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much.
It was an ambitious, almost insane, venture. Parents and five kids, ages toddler through pre-teen, crammed ourselves into a rented station wagon and winged a sight-seeing tour in which we drove from San Francisco all the way down into Tijuana. We stayed at whatever cheap hotel would have us.
The front seat of the car featured constant bickering, mostly about maps. The middle seat offered lots of crying and an overpowering stench of dirty diapers. Rip-roaring, hair-pulling fights were common in that section too. They erupted whenever one of the kids overstayed his or her time on the coveted floor hump. [Read more…]
Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate of 2012-2104, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on April 26, 1966. I suspect that the incident described in this poem was a lived experience and not mere literary invention. There was something chilling about reading, at this time of year, the line describing “the cross trussed like a Christmas tree”. [Read more…]
During the holiday season the harp seems to stand out a bit more in the orchestral landscape than usual, although its repertoire tends to be limited to the traditional holiday fare. I find it regrettable that it doesn’t seem to get as much attention during the rest of the year, and I appreciate works outside of the holiday canon that demonstrate the versatility of the instrument. Here is a performance by Lavinia Meijer playing Philip Glass’ Metamorphosis Two, Flowing. It was recorded in the church of the Reformed Gemeente Kortenhoef for the Dutch radio station NPO 4’s program NTR Podium. [Read more…]
there is no avenging angel or red burning devil
there is only me sitting here
at the age of 70
playing with the word. [Read more…]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the town criers at Fox News, when reality intrudes on their dreams of a White (Evangelical) Christmas.
This year the outrage was triggered by a church nativity scene referencing hypocracy about attitudes toward immigrants and an asssertion about The Left opting for child pornography over Rudolf the Red Nose Reinder for holiday entertainment.
San Diego’s Mike Slater got the call from Fox and Friends this morning to bemoan a statanic statue in Illinois, and the banning of candy Christmas canes in a Nebraska classroom.
Last year it was the #MeToo movement spoiling office holiday parties as companies limit alcohol consumption. And who could forget the 2015 uproar over Starbucks cups with “no Christmas designs?” [Read more…]
There’s a funeral toast, “Here’s to a man whose like won’t come this way again.” That’s Bob Dorn. Writer, jazz man, stone mason, gardener, cook, and maker of carnival masks; he was also a warm, witty, and constant friend. About that last semi-colon, Bob and I had two caffeine-fueled discussions on the semi-colon, which he put to bed with these words,
“I think the notion that language usage should (or could) be proper is
‘… a hobgoblin of small minds’ (Emerson). Communication is the proper aim of writing.”
When I met Bob early in 2013 he had been playing the trumpet for many years, and for me jazz informed his writing in ways wonderful and a little mysterious. After asking him about the process in a couple of different ways, Bob emailed on his 74th birthday,
“Music’s even more mysterious to me than
language but the comparison isn’t fair because language …. ? I was
gonna say it’s more like rocks fitted together and music has structure,
but that’s not good enough because there are musicians who can
can explain the system but they often can’t play as well as others who
nevertheless can’t explain the system. There’s a so-what in there,
someplace. One thing that comes to mind is
that there are alternative phrases in jazz and writing. A phrase like,
“dawn came a little slowly…” might be jazzy, but “he waited for a dawn
that never seemed to arrive” is more like writing.”
I tried to leave
can be cruel
to women and children
unkind to the strangers
she once was herself
in a remote countries
and there she was
looking out of starry eyes
Stowed in my suitcase
carried over seas of clouds [Read more…]
Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly “bipartisan” orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard’s Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that—contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.
“Our ‘bipartisan’ congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. “Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where’s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?” [Read more…]
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when you’re feeling sad, what are some of your favorite things to think of? For Trump, when his friends flip, when his day sucks and his hair looks bad, Randy has some insight into what might be going through Trump’s mental playground. [As usual, Randy is NFSW, so there’s that] (h/t to AGD) [Read more…]
The path away from planetary hell got a little steeper with release of a trio of scientific papers produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries associated with the Global Carbon Project on the eve of the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference in Poland.
‘Everybody knows’ that something must be done and soon to at least keep the planet habitable for our species beyond the next century. The problem has been the lack of an agreement on a comprehensive course of actions bold enough to have an impact.
Cap and trade, carbon taxes, and increased government regulation are all (probably) well-intentioned piecemeal approaches. All of them together, assuming the political will to implement them could be found, still aren’t enough. [Read more…]
I didn’t think much of the novel, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami while I was reading it. But just like the Beatles song of the same name, that became a maddening earworm for weeks after hearing it recently, the story keeps creeping into my thoughts and coloring my perspective of life.
Life is dark and sad and fraught with uncertainty, and yet buried in all of that sadness are bits of light and delight – like tasting the fruit of a Peruvian Apple Cactus that seems at first to be tasteless, but suddenly delights your mouth with an irresistible crystalline popping sensation.
Uncovering these hidden gems in a bleak life is the raison d’être of artists. We spend our lives with imaginary magnifying glasses extended, searching for the ubiquitous gems hidden in plain sight. That moment when a reader exclaims, “Ah yes, I’ve had that feeling!” or, “I never thought about it in this way until I read what you wrote,” is when I feel that I have lived with a purpose. [Read more…]
This year we have looked back on the U.S. of 1968, including the assassinations of Dr. King and presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy. However, for hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops overseas or on the seas, we were not here. Those of us trained for combat were serving in the major duty areas of Vietnam, Germany, and South Korea for 12-month assignments or longer.
The lack of the internet, cell phones, or even U.S. television disconnected us from these events. We were immersed in military life, which was and is very structured, with defined duties and daily accountability to one’s superiors and fellow soldiers. 1968 was the height of the Vietnam War and there was a military machine operating 24/7 with equipment to run, planes to fly, ships to sail, communications to process and with millions of people coming in, being trained, getting out. [Read more…]
By Gabe Ortiz / Daily Kos
José Andrés’ latest humanitarian mission shows why he not only deserves his recent nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, but also why he deserves to win it. The chef has taken his famed World Central Kitchen to the Mexican side of the southern border, where in the last few days he estimates he has fed as many as 3,000 refugees a day. He tells The Washington Post he’s there because he’s compelled to be there.
“’In the end, it’s very simple,” he said. “Our motto comes from John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, I will be there.” The Washington Post reports that “then Andrés put his own amendment on Steinbeck’s famous line: ‘We will be there,’ he added.” Over 30 volunteers are there currently helping a smaller group of World Central Kitchen people. [Read more…]
Did county’s Palomar landfills violate FAA grant requirements?
For nearly two years, we have been waiting for the FAA to explain:
- Trash Dumping. Did the FAA consent in writing to the County of San Diego dumping about 800,000 cubic yards of trash in 30 acres of McClellan-Palomar Airport canyons over a 14-year period?
- Trash Dumping Interim Safety Risks. If so, on what basis since dumping trash both (i) endangered Palomar Airport runway operations by attracting birds to the trash heaps just 1,000 feet away from aircraft using the airport and (ii) violated the FAA Grant conditions that preclude use of airports for non-airport purposes without written Secretary of Transportation permission.
- Trash Dumping Extraordinary Costs and Permanent Safety Risks. Why would the County of San Diego be eligible for future FAA grants to extend its 4,900-foot runway up to 800 feet over the now closed landfill when by dumping trash, county has (i) increased the cost of extending the runway by more than 1,000 percent, (ii) created a safety hazard by exposing increasingly larger aircraft to the landfill methane gas collection system that lies 4 to 7 feet below the Palmar runway east end, and (iii) violated the FAA grant conditions?
- IPERA. How is the FAA complying with the federal Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act when the County of San Diego applies for future FAA grants to extend and/or relocate the Palomar runway?
From the Full Frontal website:
MMA fighter Leslie Smith is doing what she does best: fighting. This time for Project Spearhead & collective bargaining rights for her and all UFC fighters. Allana Harkin steps into the ring. Produced by Halcyon Person with Lauren Walker.
Why not say it? I mean, if The Donald can get away with making stuff up by saying it’s a popular thought, why can’t I?
Speaking of making stuff up, the hair-on-fire response to the 13 pages of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing memorandum filed yesterday is a sight to behold. Tasty tidbits of information are being treated as if they were the main course of the Mueller investigation.
Come on, gang. I’m sick and tired of the “this will be the one that brings him down” bullshit. Having lived in DC through Watergate, let me assure you there is no one thing other than critical mass. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: Bob wrote this article on October 30 and intended to finish it while in Sant Joan, Mallorca, where he unexpectedly died. Nat Krieger, a dear friend of Bob and SDFP contributor himself, was able to find the article on Bob’s computer and sent it to us, at Deb Dorn’s request. We are publishing it posthumously.
By Bob Dorn
The old man used to ride his wobbly old bike every day up to the market on Park Boulevard where he preferred to shop. On his way north he would dismount as he approached the Georgia Street overpass of University Avenue because the climb was steep enough to make him uncomfortable. In fact, he not very stable on the machine under any conditions, and it looked nearly as old as him and seemed to weigh half as much as he did. On his way back the filled-up basket of the bike rattled loudly, which alerted the few people along the way getting out of or into their cars.
On some days the people recognized him and waved, some pointing their thumbs upward toward the sky because they knew he would pretend to think they meant something was up there and he would look up at the morning clouds as if he were following their directions. They always laughed at that. Others would aim their garden hoses at him so they could share a different laugh. [Read more…]