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 Jones winning in Bama, #MeToo in the White House, Kasparian having to go, Net Neutrality, California burning, Diane Takvorian, deported veteran Hector Barajas, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
The group Toko Telo (group of three) brings together a trio of musical stars from Madagascar: D’Gary, Monika Njava and Régis Gizavo. From the YouTube page notes:
Semi-autobiographical, this song tells of Relaza, who comes from a big family. Among 15 children he’s the eighth. The word has a second meaning: enemy. But Relaza’s no enemy, he’s nice to everyone. [Read more…]
This number is a bit dated, but it’s uncanny how well it has aged. The names of the politicians mentioned are a tip off, but by judicious substitution with contemporary characters it is surprisingly (sadly) still topical. The body politic successfully dodged the bullet on the occasion of the introduction of this song. We were not so lucky this last presidential election and we must now deal with the aftermath. [Read more…]
and the desert rattles trees
blows open doors
Bends the knees of flags
toward foaming ocean
into flame [Read more…]
Given the Latest Lawsuit Against Central Committee Member Kasparian, How Long Will Women Support the Local Dysfunctional Democratic Party?
How many incidents of discrimination and/or sexual misconduct is too many for San Diego’s Democratic Party? Are four enough? How long will the party’s leaders continue to disparage those who defend victims in these cases in order to protect their cash flow? (Another story for another day)
In light of the latest news about a member of the organization’s Central Committee, it’s a fair question to ask. We need to be talking about these ugly matters, even as a series of op-eds in the Union-Tribune revives the painful episodes surrounding the fall of former Mayor Bob Filner.
County employee and Service Employees International Union Local 221 Board member Melody Godinez has filed a lawsuit against Mickey Kasparian, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 alleging “gender violence” and “vile and despicable” conduct. [Read more…]
The holiday season is upon us, and many groups are taking a break, including the elves and gnomes prowling the interwebs for the Progressive Activist Calendar. Today’s events listing will be the last one for 2017; I’ll resume on January 5, 2018. I’m posting the Startling Line column separately later today.
Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. Club meetings will be listed IF there are speakers and they are open to the public.
“I don’t know how many birthdays I have left.” Ady Barkan, whose video of him challenging Sen. Jeff Flake to vote on his principles and oppose the current GOP tax bill recently went viral, was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He noted that the current tax proposal, if enacted, will trigger $400 billion in Medicare PAYGO cuts over 10 years. “I paid into Medicare just like all of us pay in. You know, every two weeks we make a commitment to one another and to our society that we’re going to protect each other in case tragedy strikes. And the Republicans are saying, ‘Uh uh, Ady, you don’t get that Medicare Disability that you paid for because Donald Trump Jr. needs a tax cut for his real estate developments and my hedge fund buddies on Wall Street they need a tax cut too.’ So I think that’s not OK and I’m trying to do what I can to fight it.” [Read more…]
By the time most you of are reading this, the Federal Communication Commission will have changed the rules regarding regulation of the internet, despite a survey showing 83% of registered voters oppose such a move.
Critics say FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan allows service providers to control download speeds, limit or block access to certain websites, and charge consumers extra fees for broader access.
There may be a darker side to the FCC chairman, one surfacing early on Thursday via Twitter. I’m not sure what all this means, other than an indication Pai likes to play with some not nice people with a track record of aiming to suppress free speech and supporting patriarchy.
SDFP Flashback: On this 5th anniversary of Sandy Hook, we are reposting this article by editor Annie Lane. It’s still relevant three years later.
By Annie Lane
The 1999 Columbine High School shooting jolted me. I was 15 at the time. That is, I was still immortal and arrogant in the way that only a teen can be. Despite this, I remember being jolted by the violence of it, and the permanence. The kids killed were my age; they were essentially moments away from entering into the adult world, however unprepared, just like me.
The black-and-white cafeteria footage that ran on a seemingly endless loop across news stations nationwide was spell-binding. It was simultaneously real while perfectly mimicking Hollywood violence – or was it the other way around? [Read more…]
By Valerie Vande Panne / Alternet
The fat old white man clad in red is a marketing gimmick. Let’s consider replacing him. When you see Santa today, all fat and jolly and rosy-cheeked, you’re seeing an image created for and promoted by the Coca-Cola Company for over 80 years. Michigan artist Haddon Sundblom created the Santa Claus we know so well in 1931, for Coke’s “Thirst Knows No Season” campaign.”
Sundblom modeled his Santa on “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” an 1822 poem by Clement C. Moore. While people often point to that poem as the defining element of Santa Claus’ style, or to Thomas Nast’s versions of Santa Claus for Harper’s, it wasn’t until Sundblom and Coke codified the Claus in mass advertising that the world adopted and accepted that version of Santa Claus. Prior to 1931, Santa Claus was depicted all sorts of ways, from an old Diogenes-type man to a bishop to a sprite-like troll. [Read more…]
Today is the 5th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. So, is today a good time to talk about gun policy? Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) interviewed on CBSN: “We have to be talking about policy change every single day in this country or we’ll never end up doing anything about the 90 people a day who die.”
Vox.com has a site which tracks gun violence and mass shootings since Sandy Hook. The site includes an interactive map displaying the dates and locations of mass shootings since Sandy Hook. [Read more…]
The Roypublicans Are in Panic Mode
In Alabama on Tuesday, Democrat Doug Jones won 49.9% of the vote to Republican Roy Moore’s 48.4% in a special election to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned his Senate post to become Trump’s chief elf and Attorney General. The other 1.7% wrote in someone else’s name.
Republicans in Alabama have typically been winning elections in recent years by a half million votes. Jones won by 21,000. Turnout for the special election was projected to 25% of registered voters. Double that number showed up at the polls. Moore lost 12 counties that Trump won in 2016. Republicans won this particular Senate seat in 2014 with 97% of the vote.
This was a huge victory, and let’s give credit where credit is due. Black voters showed up, despite being systemically obstructed from access to the polls. [Read more…]
The ACLU and the law firm of Latham & Watkins have petitioned the federal court to conduct a long-overdue naturalization hearing for deported U.S. Army veteran Hector Barajas, who received an honorable discharge after serving nearly six years in the military.
Barajas, a decorated veteran, and founder of the Deported Veterans Support House in Tijuana, Mexico, was granted a full pardon last year by Gov. Jerry Brown for a conviction that led to his deportation. But U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not issued a decision on his naturalization application, even though Barajas successfully completed the required portions of the process in November 2016. According to regulation, that decision was supposed to be issued within 120 days, a deadline that has long passed.
In taking this court action, the ACLU Foundations of Southern California and San Diego & Imperial Counties, and Latham & Watkins ask that the U.S. District Court take over the matter and conduct a naturalization hearing for Barajas. [Read more…]
By Robert Reich / RobertReich.Org
The FCC is voting Thursday on whether to repeal the “Net Neutrality” rule adopted in 2015.
Since its creation, the internet has been an open exchange of ideas and information, free from corporate control and influence. But corporations could soon have tremendous power over what we can access and share online, ending the internet as we know it.
In 2015, the FCC passed a landmark rule that prevents internet service providers from favoring some sites over others – slowing down connections or charging customers a fee for streaming or other services. It gave Americans equal access to all the content that’s available on the internet – videos, social media, e-commerce sites, etc – at the same speeds. [Read more…]
As the narrator reads excerpts from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, images depicting the Civil Rights struggle are displayed.
When I hear “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed.” I detect echoes of Frederick Douglass’ “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” [Read more…]
It’s a sign, I hope: Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism, selected because of the frequency of lookups at the once-upon-a-dictionary’s website.
On Monday, three of the nineteen women who have accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault detailed their accounts of being groped, fondled and forcibly kissed at a news conference. (Depending on which news account you’ve read, the number of accusers varies from 13 to 19.)
Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, and Samantha Holvey said they were speaking up again because of the current climate that has emboldened women to speak up about sexual misconduct. [Read more…]
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have compiled the accounts of sixteen women who have experienced the sleazy side of Donald Trump. Collecting the stories and presenting them together demonstrates that there is pattern here.
During the presidential campaign these stories were part of the mix of campaign coverage, but faded from view as as other events crowded out the media spotlight. Now that other high profile sexual assault and harassment events such as the Harvey Weinstein scandal are in the news, three of the women—Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks—have joined forces to bring public attention to this issue once again, and demand that Congress investigate the claims. The Hill reports that they have gotten the attention of the Democratic Women’s Working Group (DWWG). On Monday that group sent a letter signed by 59 women lawmakers to the House Oversight Committee Chair, Trey Gowdy, and the ranking member, Elijah Cummings, writing that “The American people deserve a full inquiry into the truth of these allegations.” [Read more…]
What I have to say today is probably gonna make some people unhappy.
On Saturday, a group of regional nativists held a rally in Otay Mesa celebrating the prototypes for Trump’s wall. Rep. Duncan Hunter was the featured speaker. Eyewitness accounts agree the crowd size was 100 or less, as likely was the average IQ.
Another group thought it would be a good idea to get twenty people to yell stuff at the MAGA types. Now they’re upset because punches were thrown and the battalion of Sheriffs and other law enforcement types standing around didn’t come rushing to their aid.
Really? [Read more…]
Welcome to the future.
That’s the thing I’ve been thinking to myself as the frenetic news cycle over the past year has veered from political chaos to natural disaster and back again in a vertigo-inducing downward spiral. Increasing social division domestically as the rich pillage the rest of us, the intensified threat of international conflict, the brazen plundering of the commons, and utter disdain for the natural world amidst a myriad of sexual harassment scandals and horrifying mass shootings are punctuated by catastrophic natural disasters from the epic fires to supercharged hurricanes and yet more fearsome firestorms.
Reality is exceeding the capacity of our dystopian imaginations. [Read more…]
By Environmental Health Coalition
This week, KPBS recognized Environmental Health Coalition’s Executive Director Diane Takvorian as its environmental sustainability community hero.
For more than 37 years, Diane has empowered community members living in low-income neighborhoods of color.
She credits her passion for social justice to her own family’s struggles that stretch back to the early 1900s. Her grandparents survived the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and came to the United States two years later. Diane and her parents lived in Pasadena, where she says she experienced some discrimination because of her ethnic background. [Read more…]
By Gil Field / San Diego Veterans for Peace
Veteran members, associate members, and friends and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter 91, are proud to announce that in November 2017 the 3200th sleeping bag set was given out to the homeless in downtown San Diego!
It’s through the generous ongoing financial contributions of friends and the general public that our Compassion Campaign is able to indefinitely continue this humane, lifesaving program.
In December 2010 the San Diego chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization began the Compassion Campaign — an outreach effort to help displaced homeless veterans. Ignited by conversations with many homeless veterans on the street in downtown San Diego, the chapter membership determined the lives of homeless veterans and non-veterans downtown could improve significantly if given basic equipment — like a sleeping bag, as many weren’t sleeping well on the hard pavement with only a light blanket, their jacket, or nothing. [Read more…]
Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was interviewed by Guardian journalist Paul Lewis during the Republican primary in August of 2017. The conversation touched on former president Ronald Reagan’s characterization of Russia as “the focus of evil in the modern world”. Roy’s response: “You could say that very well about America, couldn’t you?” When prompted to explain he went on to say that “We promote a lot of bad things, you know … like same-sex marriage.” [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 Sheriff Groper, bad Republican tax bill, Greedy Old Perverts, California on fire, Republican looters, Coco, climate change effects on San Diego, Maria Garcia Day, Airbnb, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Catching us up with the rest of the world, a Boing Boing article informs us that the top trending video globally (currently with over 186 million views since June 2017) features a masked singer in a costume that resembles a clutch of oysters, if anything.
The song is titled “Until we become dust” and is featured as an entry in a televised game show called The Mask Singer. Don’t know whether this was the show’s ultimate winner, but globally it’s a hit. What am I missing?! [Read more…]
From our Normalize This! file: The Washington Post reports that five days before the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, Trump announced that he would be attending the Saturday event. This Friday, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (D) and a slew of other civil rights veterans announced they will no longer be attending. Lewis and Thompson in their joint statement note that “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.” The NAACP announced that it will be holding a separate event on Saturday to honor civil rights heroes. [Read more…]
December 12th Session Will Decide Future of Ocean Beach and Other Coastal Communities
If San Diego City Councilmembers from inland districts get their way and legalize short-term vacation rentals with hardly any restrictions, coastal neighborhoods like Ocean Beach will be inundated with a flood of new such rentals. And it could have a devastating impact on OB, uprooting the sparse housing stock and turning entire sections of the community into “Airbnb Beach”.
The City Council meets on Tuesday, December 12th, and come hell or high water will make policy on vacation rentals that day. Short-term rentals have been boiling San Diego politics for nearly 3 years as city government kept delaying any decisions, one way or another. And now, after all this time, the Council is set to put something into law, into the Municipal Code on the 12th.
Come next Tuesday, nothing but the very future of Ocean Beach is at stake. [Read more…]
New Ordinance May Violate First Amendment Protected Expression of Charity
By ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties
A few weeks ago, the City of El Cajon adopted an ordinance prohibiting people and organizations from sharing food with homeless individuals on public property. This needlessly cruel ordinance dampens the spirit of giving this holiday season. It may also be unconstitutional.
On Friday, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties sent a letter to the City of El Cajon requesting reconsideration of its food sharing ban.
“By prohibiting food sharing only when done for ‘charitable purposes,’ El Cajon is regulating food sharing because of its expressive content, punishing only those who share food to express their religious or political beliefs in ministry or charity but not those who share food for other purposes,” said David Loy, Legal Director for the ACLU of San Diego. “If charitable appeals for funds are within the protection of the First Amendment, the same is true for charitable giving, whether of money or food.” [Read more…]
A ninth woman has come forward with claims of sexual misconduct by San Diego County Sheriff Deputy Richard Fischer, according to the Union-Tribune. All the victims are alleging incidents involving unwelcome hugs, groping and, in some cases, implied threats. Although the complaints date back to 2016, the Deputy was not placed on formal leave until lawsuits were filed last month.
It’s not like this was a one-time thing for at least one of the women; I’d call it stalking:
“When he clicked the seat belt into place, he rubbed L.R.’s breasts up and down using the heel of his hand and the inner part of his arm,” one of the new lawsuits alleges. “Fischer said, ‘Oh I hope your husband doesn’t mind.’”
That complaint, filed Wednesday in San Diego Superior Court by a woman who did not want to be publicly identified as a victim of sexual assault, accuses Fischer of accosting her five other times before she was released with a misdemeanor ticket last year. [Read more…]
Black Friday crow parks
on top a new SUV
Sliding glass doors slide
A 3000 dollar suit
. flaps sleeves at air [Read more…]
Meanwhile, back in Puerto Rico …
“Now This” producer Melissa Fajardo presents video documentary footage from three Puerto Ricans coping with life in Puerto Rico two months after Hurricane Maria passed directly over the island, leaving devastation in its wake. [Read more…]