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, at-large contributors, and locally sourced writers on Cali’s climate crisis, Cate not getting prosecuted, GOP’s cashman Issa and trashman Hunter, fear in time of fire and Hep A, SD Dems rolling with radical right, the Dojo Café, properly interpreting the 2nd Ammendment, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Time to fire up the Way Back Machine and set it for 1949. That’s when this recording of ¡Que Viva Changó! by Celina González and her partner Reutilio Domínguez was made. Pair it up with some smooth Rumba dance moves and that’s a winner for me! [Read more…]
Do the events of this last week (or last nine months) have you enraged? Are you ready to let it all out in a cathartic frenzy? Prophets of Rage are here to help. [Read more…]
As we approach the anniversary of the massive October 2007 wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands of San Diegans- I think of Hawaii.
That’s because, on the Sunday the massive wildfires started in San Diego- just a few miles east of the 76th Assembly district I represented- I was flying westward over the Pacific, looking forward to a relaxing week on Maui. It had been windy, dry, and hot in San Diego as the flight departed, so I welcomed the relatively mild tropical island weather and rented a convertible for the drive to town.
Unfortunately, the fires intensified rapidly throughout the day. But I watched a baseball playoff game, not the news, when I got to Lahaina and remained unaware of what was happening. After the game, I went out and bought a week’s worth of groceries from a supermarket, then went to bed.
It’s the time of year when the smell of smoke in the air makes many of us afraid. The Santa Ana (Southern California) and (Northern California) Diablo winds become more frequent in October, with humidity and the temperature rising and falling through each week.
Our state’s “fire season” used to run from June to October is now a year-round threat due to a mixture of perennial drought and increasing development near canyons and on hillsides surrounded by brush and forest.
The fossil fuel apologists running our government and their compatriots in the echo chamber otherwise known as Fox News have waved away meaningful discussion about the connections between climate change, wildfires in the west, and hurricanes in the Atlantic.
“It’s too soon,” they say, mimicking the approach used by the National Rifle Association and their toadies after every mass shooting. [Read more…]
prop up columns
to keep the Forum from falling again
remains a circus
where mobs of plebeians
stab each other with selfie sticks
or throw unfortunate outsiders to lions
dressed in the uniforms of bus drivers
and tour guides [Read more…]
Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism provides numerous examples of corporations taking advantage of natural disasters to privatize public resources and utilities. Could Puerto Rico’s water supply be the next target? [Read more…]
Right now, right here in San Diego, we have prototypes being built for a wall of shame.
The facts about our border with Mexico don’t matter; that border cities generally have low crime rates, unlawful border crossings are down, people and/or drugs are being mostly smuggled through regular ports of entry.
The Trump administration is dead-set on spending tens of billions of dollars for a symbolic barrier as a testament to their success in selling fear of the ‘other’ as a vehicle for dismantling the social safety net and lining the pockets of their loony financiers.
The President took time out yesterday from disrespecting grieving widows and boosting conspiracy theories floated by Putin’s propagandists to Tweet out a video of the construction in Otay Mesa.
Let’s look around at what Trump’s allies have been up to lately and see if we can find anything in common. [Read more…]
I felt so proud of my son, Carlos, the other day when I walked away from the grand opening of the Dojo Café, a little place on wheels he and his friends, Tayari, Peter, Nancy, and Christina put together for City Heights.
I was particularly wowed because it seems he just got here as I have vivid memories of him falling asleep in my arms after a little baby-dad play.
Then it seemed like it was only a matter of days that I was blown away by his wizardry on the soccer field and the moves he grooved to dancing on stage. On the other side of the coin, I remember wanting to, on family road trips while the van was still moving, climb over my seat and strangle him to release the pressure off that last nerve of mine he had stomped on. Oh, his energy! Dude had no off switch whatsoever. Loved him dearly never-the-less. [Read more…]
By Pete Beauregard
A few weeks ago, I saw a video advertising a firing mechanism capable of turning a semi-automatic rifle into a fully-automatic machine-gun. It was similar to a bump-stock, but smaller, and could fit onto the trigger guard. The speed at which those bullets were flying out of the barrel was frightening, and I felt compelled to share my anger that this kind of device was on the market.
I wrote a post on Facebook where I expressed my concerns about the amount of damage that could be done with this kind of device. Some of these devices are easily attained by mail order for less than $60 and are available in every state. Any one of these devices can really wreak havoc in the same manner committed by the Las Vegas mass murderer. [Read more…]
Gold Star parents, Sheila and Calvin Murphy, interviewed by MSNBC’s Ari Melber, talk about their son who was killed in Syria. 22-year-old Army Specialist Etienne Murphy died in May after an armored vehicle he was in rolled over. For Sheila, the issue is “not really about whether or not [the president] may have called or did something more than the previous one. It’s about what are you doing now to help those who are left behind, who have to struggle day to day …” [Read more…]
Did you know NAFTA is responsible for just about everything wrong with this country except your co-worker’s bad breath? The President’s economic advisor said so in a memo last month. Abortions, divorce, infertility and opioid abuse are all on the rise because of a trade agreement. And they’ve got a chart to “prove” it.
Sad stuff… Today would be a good day for even the most die-hard Trump supporter to acknowledge the man’s complete lack of empathy, thanks to some –now apparently misunderstood– remarks made to the widow of Army Special Forces Sergeant La David Johnson.
Speaking of hallucinations, there must be something really dreadful coming out of the water fountains at the San Diego branch of the Associated General Contractors. They should probably get those pipes looked before penning their next screed promoting conspiracies about Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.
By Thomas Ultican / Tultican
Last week, I got this message from a colleague in the Sweetwater Union High School District: “You doing ok, Brother Ultican? I have a question for you. In your tireless research and writing on education schemes and scams, what have you learned about NMSI? They’re in our district now and I’ve got a bad feeling about the direction it’s taking.”
In the words of Dr. Johnny Fever, “Sometimes paranoia is just good thinking.”
The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was founded by a group of Dallas area lawyers and businessmen. Tom Luce is identified as the founder and Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil and present US Secretary of State, provided the financing. [Read more…]
In the war for social and environmental justice, even the best lawyers rarely serve as anything more than battlefield medics.
They do what they can to stop the bleeding for the people, places, and causes suffering on the front lines, but they do not possess the weapons to return fire in any serious way. Lawyers lack effective weapons because American law functions to protect those in power from the rest of us; effective legal weapons are, quite literally, outlawed.
Nonetheless, understanding the limits of the law to affect change through my experiences as a public defender, I recently helped the Colorado River sue the State of Colorado in a first-in-the-nation lawsuit — Colorado River v. Colorado — requesting that the United States District Court in Denver recognize the river’s rights of nature. These rights include the rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve. To enforce these rights, the Colorado River also requests that the court grant the river “personhood” and standing to sue in American courts. [Read more…]
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes reports how the White House has devised a way of getting its story out while making the source appear to be the Main Stream Media. Unfair and imbalanced? You decide. [Read more…]
It was supposed to be just another Tuesday on the picket line outside the Thibodo Road building housing Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Vista. Little did organizers know the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department had a surprise waiting for them.
Roughly 300 people showed up, as they have every week for the past nine months, urging the 49th District Republican to disavow President Trump’s policies. To keep interest up, there are weekly themes and protest subjects. This week’s theme was “It’s a Bird It’s a Plane It’s the Resistance! the matter at hand was the GOP budget coming before Congress in the coming weeks.
In keeping with their weekly theme, protest organizers obtained a 20-foot tall inflatable chicken, complete with Trump hair styling, and arranged for a plane to fly overhead towing a banner “Not One Penny in Tax Cuts for Issa and the 1%.” [Read more…]
Democratic activists have been serious about campaigning early in the 49th and 50th Congressional districts and it would appear those efforts are paying off.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa is down 10 points in polling pitting him against any generic Democratic candidate. While the three Dems opposing Issa all filed strong third quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission, the incumbent maintains a substantial cash-on-hand advantage.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently moved Congressman Duncan Hunter’s 50th District from “solid” to “likely” Republican. Democrats Josh Butner and Ammar Najjar-Campa each raised more money than the incumbent in the third quarter report. [Read more…]
Remember in 2012 when Kansas Governor Sam Brownback launched his “live experiment” in conservative governance? Cutting taxes was going to spur growth and create jobs. So how did that work out? Meet Mike – a Republican farmer from Kansas who has experienced first-hand what happens when the GOP cuts taxes for the rich. Now, he’s calling for #NotOnePenny in tax cuts for the wealthy: notonepenny.org. [Read more…]
City Councilman Chris Cate’s admission of his decision to pass along a confidential legal memo to a lobbyist working for the backers of the Soccer City development proposal has been at the center of controversy in recent days.
Cate and his PR guy say the decision to share was a necessary part of gathering information to make an informed decision. Except it would appear the Councilman had already taken a stance since his photograph appears alongside a supportive quote with other project backers at GoalSD.com. And lobbyist Craig Benedetto, who received the memo–stamped “confidential”–donated to and raised funds for Cate earlier this year.
The City Attorney says she believes a misdemeanor offense was committed and referred the case to the County District Attorney’s office. And there it will die, despite compelling evidence Cate violated San Diego Municipal Code section 27.3564(e). [Read more…]
Last week in the second part of my review of Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, I noted how the complicity of neoliberal Democrats with the aims of the Right is one of the reasons why fighting the Koch brothers of the world has been so difficult. Thinking they are reasonably compromising or engaging in a savvy war of position, these Democrats are instead simply crab walking us over a cliff.
And while I wish that our current circumstances were so extreme that it has scared even the most feckless of Democrats away from this kind of all-too-clever triangulation, it appears that some people never learn.
Locally, one need look no further than our own crab walker-in-chief, Scott Peters, to see how this works.
By Murtaza Baxamusa / UrbDeZine
The current leadership at San Diego’s regional transportation agency hates tax, except that they love to spend it.
This double-standard has become increasingly apparent in the recent months, as they are back-filling the shortfall in the local sales tax revenues and increase in project costs with $5 billion from a statewide gas tax that many on the agency’s board vehemently oppose.
With the failure of the local sales tax measure last year, and the gridlock in Washington D.C., the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG – in charge of planning and building transit in the county) is now far more dependent on the passage of transportation taxes by the California legislature.
Yet, SANDAG is institutionally resistant to achieving state transportation goals particularly with regard to climate change. [Read more…]
By Stan Levin
Three of us, two members of San Diego Veterans for Peace and a guest, are jammed into a Prius — along with 20 new sleeping bags. We are driving slowly south, down 16th Street in search of people lying on the sidewalks.
Chapter members have been here many times over the past five or six years, and have distributed more than 3,200 bags to unfortunates on the street.
We park some distance from the homeless person. Caution and intuition are at work now, tempered by experience. One of us stays with the car, while the other two make contact. [Read more…]
The pink ribbon isn’t just a symbol of breast cancer awareness; it’s a symbol of the breast cancer industry.
By Karuna Jaggar / Common Dreams
Breast cancer is the darling of corporate America, with pink ribbons adorning everything from handbags to handguns. Corporations put a pink ribbon on their products to boost sales and build their brand. And it works—sales go up and profits increase. Unfortunately, despite 25 years of pink ribbon marketing, breast cancer diagnoses have not gone down.
It’s one reason the national education and activist organization that I lead, Breast Cancer Action, has long called October “Breast Cancer Industry Month.” October was designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) more than 30 years ago—by the corporation now known as AstraZeneca, in partnership with the American Cancer Society. [Read more…]
Governor Jerry Brown has declared not one, but two states of emergency in California. One is for the wildfires that are still raging in Northern California and one is for the lack of vaccines in the deadly Hepatitis A outbreak that began in San Diego.
The wildfires have taken the lives of 40 people and destroyed 5,700 homes and buildings. They have forced the evacuation of 100,000 others. Hundreds of people are still missing and 217,000 acres have been burned.
One part of our federal government –the Post Office–continues to function in areas destroyed by the wildfires. [Read more…]
We have all read about the horrible fires and devastation north of us. This account was sent to San Diego Free Press contributor Judi Curry by a friend living in the Bay Area, who has given permission to post.
I am going up today to look around. I am still shut out of my neighborhood. The boys are staying at the beach.
Reflecting on the current reality, and thought I’d share, since some folks who haven’t been here yet are driving in this weekend … [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, at-large contributors, and locally sourced writers on Feinstein running (again?!), Weinstein-Trump-Kasparian and their misogynist ways, SANDAG reformed, our democracy in chains, our national nightmare, SD’s dangling do-nothings, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Today’s videos and commentary are NSFW
ICYMI, Samantha Bee launched a no holds barred response to the sordid tales of the decades long sexual harassment and alleged assaults by Harvey Weinstein. Women, and there are a lot of them, are having their day and say. Weinstein became an instant pariah, losing his business interests, wife and status.
The Fall of Harvey Weinstein is in sharp contrast to the Rise of the Pussy Grabber-in-Chief. The Access Hollywood Tapes were released a year ago and eleven women came forward alleging sexual harassment by Trump. Didn’t Orwell say “All pigs are equal. Some pigs are more equal”? [Read more…]
“The only thing that is reliable and dependable about Trump is that he’s unreliable and not dependable”–GOP Lobbyist Ed Rogers
A checklist of the Trump administration’s accomplishments the week:
** Raised the possibility of using executive power to critical media… [Read more…]
Vox’s Carlos Maza and Coleman Lowndes with an assist from University of Wisconsin, Madison Professor Doug McLeod give us a “heads up” on the issue of media coverage of the Antifa issue. [Read more…]
I feel you
working three jobs
to pay for a house and car
I feel you
pushing shopping carts uphill
I feel you
reaching for a sense of solvency
that can’t be found
until you are lost in a place like Venice: [Read more…]