Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! during the last day of the UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany—COP23—interviews Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Isabella Zizi of Idle No More. The discussion includes a critique of Jerry Brown’s implementation of Cap & Trade in California, explaining its negative impact on communities, with Richmond, California as an example. [Read more…]
What if San Diego had a leader in law enforcement who could see beyond warehousing the homeless? What if we had a Sheriff who wasn’t proud of the fact our jails are dumping grounds for the county’s mentally ill humans? What if we could find a way past the “us versus them” mentality, where fear drives the relationship with the government agency touching the most lives?
The question for voters in the 2018 election for County Sheriff shouldn’t be “what if;” it should be “why not?”
California’s electorate has (over and over and over again) spoken up. The days of lock ‘em up and throw away the key are over. Some of our public servants don’t like that idea. There are plenty of reasons to believe current Sheriff of San Diego County, Bill Gore, is one of those people. [Read more…]
One of the things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving is the fact that I am fortunate enough to teach Henry David Thoreau every fall, particularly this 200th year since the great American author’s birth.
Most of my students at City College have lived, worked, and struggled more than your average college student and, consequently, Thoreau’s call to avoid a life of “quiet desperation” speaks to them more profoundly than it might to other students from different circumstances. Simply put, they are in a college English class reading literature because they have chosen to be there. Running against the grain of all the siren calls for a more market-based education driven by efficiency and expediency, many of my students have decided that what moves them most is to read and think and to live a life they hope will be more meaningful because of it.
Hence, before my students even get to this great old courage teacher, they have chosen to live “deliberately” as Thoreau put it. And that, of course, is one of the central lessons that Thoreau still teaches us: that we can insist on choices and that those choices really matter. They have moral consequences. They make us who we are. [Read more…]
Is it any wonder that more than 1.7 million voters left the top of the ticket blank in 2016?
By John Atcheson / Common Dreams
Much was made of the “blue wave” some saw on November 7th. Blue ripple is more like it. Don’t expect those results to translate into a 2018 landslide for Democrats, unless the Party figures out what it’s for, not simply what it’s against.
Most of the Party leaders are only too eager to tell you what an idiot Trump is, or how mean Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the conservative wrecking crew is. But they are loath to tell you what, exactly, they, themselves stand for.
Oh, yes, you will hear some vaguely progressive platitudes, especially around election time, but in terms of real, specific and substantive stands on behalf of the middle class and poor Americans, there’s more rhetoric than substance. [Read more…]
By Isidro Ortiz / Draft NOtices
A previous Draft NOtices article, Removing a Few Bad Hombres, discussed the deportation of immigrant military veterans. Non-citizen immigrant recruits in the United States now find themselves possibly facing a similarly cruel and irreversible fate.
In this case, their potential deportation isn’t due to any criminal actions on their part. Instead, its roots lie in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposal to terminate the Military Accession Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program over security concerns. The program’s end would result in the cancellation of enlistment contracts with non-citizen recruits.
As reported in media venues such as NPR, this action would leave 1,000 non-citizen recruits without legal protection from deportation. Their plight is yet another reminder of the highly problematic and untrustworthy nature of the institutional commitment to those who aspire to serve in the military. [Read more…]
By Barrio Logan Planning Group
Re: Temporary (Bridge) Homeless Shelters
Honorable Mayor Faulconer:
Learning of the intent of the City of San Diego to return the homeless shelter to 16th Street and Newton Avenue and Commercial and 14th Streets has raised grave concerns among those of us who live and work in Barrio Logan and East Village. While we understand the need to act to serve the needs of the growing homeless population in San Diego, community residents have a vivid memory of the impacts the last “temporary shelter” brought to Barrio Logan. …
It is understood that the bridge shelters are meant to be temporary while the City implements a permanent solution to housing the homeless in San Diego. Our natural concern is that having temporary shelters relieves the “pressure” on the City to find the permanent solution that is needed. We remain hopeful that this is not the case and a more permanent solution is on the horizon. [Read more…]
The group Artcolectivist on November 18th decided to assist the proto-type border wall testing effort by seeing how the models stand up to light graffiti. As one member of the group explains “Always, from the beginning, the way to face the power of the government has been with humor and with comedy”. [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 cleaning the County house, Gropey Old Perverts, Matt Strabone, County jail deaths, changing the culture of the Democratic Party, remembering Debbie, accolades for Maria Garcia, the televangelical Disneyland in Mission Valley, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Trump Administration Season Ending – Warning! Spoiler Alert! It’s Mueller Time! (Well, we can at least dream, no? It’s certainly my fervent wish.)
My gratitude goes out to the talented soul who cleverly doctored the Daredevil Season 1 ending montage and mashed it up with the Matt Munro version of “From Russia, With Love”. Well done! Especially enjoyed the occasional little background flourishes, e.g. the brick wall stencil “Comey is my homey”. [Read more…]
Operatico Politico is back!
As we pass the one year anniversary of that gut-wrenching November election, the Operatico Politico crew, using a mashup of the invitingly accommodating Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” with the format of SNL’s Wayne’s World, gift us with an overview of iconic incidents that pull into focus the realization that something has gone radically wrong with our political and social contract. [Read more…]
We’re headed into a holiday week, and let’s face it, doing something positive locally in light of what’s happening elsewhere is a good idea. I promised Ironworker Johnny Swanson I’d support the diaper drive this year. So, ripped from the pages of Facebook, the pitch begins below…
“One in three American moms struggles to provide clean diapers for her children. Food stamps and WIC programs do not cover diapers and families are often forced to make tough decisions because they can’t afford to buy diapers.
Last year, the San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council, inspired by the leadership of Ironworkers Local 229 Organizer Johnny Swanson and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher’s Annual Holiday Diaper Drive, decided to step up and see how many diapers we could collect from our members, contractors, allies, and friends, to support the families struggling in our communities. We collected over 75,000 diapers (!!!) and were able to kickstart the creation of the San Diego Diaper Bank, which is now housed in the San Diego Food Bank. [Read more…]
Before object permanence
the cardboard box
gathered dust in a cupboard
inside our family home
were the only tool required
to cut through through
layers of masking tape
and unify parallel universes [Read more…]
I’ve been exposed to so many medical prescription drug advertisements now that I routinely tune out all of the incredibly nasty and life-threatening side effects as they’re enumerated. “Ask your doctor” is about the only element that cuts through now, and I just can’t imagine actually doing that. Except maybe for Weedinol. The side effects for this one sound so much less hazardous … [Read more…]
The decision of the county’s police oversight group to not look into the deaths of twenty-odd human beings should serve as a reminder of how true justice is a much rarer commodity than most people realize.
As part of my research into the upcoming elections for County Sheriff and District Attorney, it’s been made clear to me that oversight of the agencies vested with the power of arrest and the administration of justice is largely an illusion.
On one level this is about the frailties of humans; peer pressure to maintain the integrity of the tribe in the face of constant threats. The unspeakable cruelties of injustice are seemingly compartmentalized away from public view so the ongoing–and often misguided–crusade against crime can continue. [Read more…]
In October, San Diego City Council Approved 18-Acre Christian-Themed Center
In our continuing saga to track developments in Mission Valley, we have to note that just about one month ago, on October 17, the San Diego City Council approved televangelist Morris Cerullo’s $130 – 160 million Legacy International Center project. The Center will replace the former Mission Valley Resort at 875 South Hotel Circle Drive on an 18-acre site at the west end of Mission Valley.
That’s the main headline.
But what the Council also did was approve a mini Disneyland-type of religious theme park that will promote controversial religious tourism. This project will be owned by the head of an extremist Evangelical empire who is outspoken in his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage; who was expelled from India for religious disturbances; who is criticized by rabbis for trying to convert Jews; and whose disputed claims of being a faith healer and miracle worker have led to at least one documented death. [Read more…]
By Jessica Carrera
Hola mi tia.
Well yeah there was another “blackout”. Which is funny because most of us don’t have lights anyway and are using generators. On Sunday my neighborhood got lights. We heard “llegó la luz llegó la luz,” turned our breaker on and we are pretty much the only house now on my block with no lights. I had a meltdown and could only sit and cry.
The electric company told Eduardo that it would be a few weeks before our lights come on because of the downed electric pole from the hurricane that is still on the patio. Which they didn’t remove! “Few weeks” in Puerto Rico time is months. No lights or cookies for Christmas. [Read more…]
It’s ba-a-a-a-ck! Another sneak attack on health care! The Republicans first attempt at legislation after coming to power in Congress was to try to engineer a tax give-away to the top 1% by masquerading it as a Repeal & Replace of Obamacare. When that failed they just shifted to directly drafting legislation to implement their tax cut for the super rich, attempting to pass it off as “tax reform” and a middle-class tax cut. Now, in an effort to find yet more sources of funds to deliver those tax cuts, Senate Republicans are calling for an end to the individual mandate component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Essentially this will drive premiums up for those who would still be able to afford it and make health insurance unaffordable for about 13 million people, thus “saving” the government about 338 billion over the next 10 years. Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s All In and Senator Ron Wyden break it down. [Read more…]
Will the Blue Wave of victorious Democratic party candidates in recent elections include San Diego?
The incumbent office holders of down-ballot county seats are hoping they’ll fly under the progressive radar come June 5, 2018. That’s because candidates in San Diego County can win outright –avoiding a November runoff– with a simple majority vote. Though county contests are technically non-partisan, the reality is local office holders at the county level are among the last local bastions of Republicans.
A smaller turnout and the older, more conservative profile of primary voters has all-but-assured an indefinite tenure for county positions like Assessor/Clerk, Sheriff, and District Attorney. And, when they’re ready to retire, they simply quit mid-term, ensuring a carefully groomed deputy appointed by five white Republican County Supervisors will have the advantages of incumbency in the next election. [Read more…]
“I always knew that knowledge could not be taken away.”
Over the course of one extraordinary week Maria Garcia was recognized for her work in historical preservation and documentation in Sacramento and as a Latino Champion and as Citizen of the Year here in San Diego. Maria is well known to San Diego Free Press readers for her award winning weekly series “The History of Neighborhood House in San Diego.”
Maria turned that series of stories about the lives of a forgotten and overlooked community into the book “La Neighbor: A Settlement House in Logan Heights.” By showing how residents lived their lives — worked, voted, raised their families — she firmly established them, Neighborhood House and Logan Heights in the history of San Diego.
Maria’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. The San Diego Union-Tribune selected the retired school-principal and longtime Chicana activist as a Latino Champion. She received a prestigious Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for “La Neighbor.” On the same day that she received the Governor’s Award in Sacramento, she flew back to San Diego just in time to receive the Citizen of the Year Award from the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, the professional educational honor association. [Read more…]
Part I: Who knew the race for San Diego County Board of Supervisors could be so hidden, so mysterious?
County government leaders have gotten negative press lately with charges of complacency … neglect … elitism … callousness … and worse! But that hasn’t stopped a vigorous set of candidates from vying for a seat on the tarnished Board of Supervisors.
What an intriguing mystery! It’s time for girl-crusader-for-good-government Nancy Drew to do some sleuthing.
She’s got five big questions about county government. And she’s got a few question for the candidates whose eyes are glued on the June 2018 primary election. All she wants are the facts, ma’am. [Read more…]
By Sher Watts Spooner / Daily Kos
The fight for rational gun safety laws is frustrating. But the information that the perpetrator of the latest mass shooting also was guilty of domestic abuse—a conviction that should have kept him from buying a gun—seems to be opening some eyes.
Devin Patrick Kelley, who opened fire with an assault rifle to kill 26 people at a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, had been court-martialed for trying to strangle his wife and for fracturing his stepson’s skull. Kelley is just the latest in a series of mass shooters who also have committed domestic violence. Of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history, nine were committed by domestic abusers.
According to research by Everytown for Gun Safety, which has analyzed all mass shootings since 2009, more than half of all mass shootings in the United States are related to domestic or family violence. [Read more…]
An necessary element to having more women in elected office is the need to have women run for office. A critical step in making that happen is identifying and overcoming barriers that discourage women from running for office. One barrier is the disproportional amount of hateful and misogynistic personal online attacks. Here’s a video that sheds light on some non-partisan work being done on that front. More information on this project here. [Read more…]
Republicans in both the House and Senate are working as fast as they can to pass a tax law overhaul. The House version will likely pass if the party leadership can slip some anti-anxiety drugs into the drinking water for GOP deficit hawks. The real battle will be–as it was with TrumpCare–in the U.S. Senate.
Despite promises to have all the pieces for some version of this legislation ready for the President to sign by the end of the year, chances of it happening are mighty slim.
It will take fifty Senators, plus the tiebreaker from Vice President Pence to pass whatever emerges from the House-Senate reconciliation process, a process that will be considerably harder if the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, Roy Moore, loses in the December 12 special election. [Read more…]
Conservative Assumptions Camouflage this New Energy Option’s Benefits
By Tyson Siegele / San Diego 350
San Diego struggles under the yoke of the highest electricity prices in the state. Meanwhile, thousands of cities across the United States have executed a plan to reduce their electricity prices, called Community Choice Energy. City officials hired an expert to determine if Community Choice would work here too. The technical study, also know as the feasibility study, found that San Diego would benefit from Community Choice, just like thousands of cities before it.
In July, when the City released the technical study, several publications such as the San Diego Union Tribune and the Voice of San Diego highlighted the main finding of the study: “San Diego could provide cheaper, greener energy than SDG&E.” Now, having had several months to digest the findings and compare them to Community Choice Energy programs across the state, additional conclusions can be teased out of the study. [Read more…]
Q: What do Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov and offshore islands have in common? A: The Paradise Papers. Here is Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman speaking with Frederik Obermaier, investigative reporter for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and co-author of the Paradise Papers. Frederik discusses the techniques and consequences of the offshoring of wealth, and names some names of figures discovered as complicit. Among the names are two of the current administration’s cabinet: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
On a somber note, Obermaier notes that this type of reporting is not without risk. A colleague, Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was part of the team working on the Panama Papers—an earlier much more limited release of records from the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca—was murdered in a bomb blast in early October. Her reporting had focused on the corruption of Maltese officials revealed in the Panama Papers and she had reported receiving death threats fifteen days before the fatal explosion. [Read more…]
Imagine, if you will…
A place in California where a single official believes he has the power to turn back the clock on same-sex marriage… A place where investigations into the deaths of people in jail are dismissed… A place where elected officials get to pick their successors…
…A place where a politician can pick up the phone and order police retaliation on people whose views he doesn’t share… A place where hundreds of millions of dollars sit undisturbed while homelessness spreads unabated, while a single elected official can pledge $150 million for a sports stadium.
Welcome to San Diego County, a place where the basic functions of government have morphed into fiefdoms of neglect and a culture of corruption prevents transparency. [Read more…]
Last week brought welcome news for those of us looking for some light at the end of the tunnel as we close in on the first year of the Trump era when voters repudiated Republican rule by handing resounding victories to Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere around the country.
While this is clearly a morale booster for beleaguered progressives, let’s hope that it does not stop folks from continuing to ask the hard questions that need to be answered if we truly want to change the course of the country from the dangerous path we are on.
Some of those questions were beginning to be debated with a fresh focus in the wake of Donna Brazile’s revelations about the 2016 campaign in the days leading up to the good electoral news on Tuesday. While most of the coverage belabored the question of whether or not the Democratic primary was “rigged,” what was more important about Brazile’s recounting of her time at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was what she revealed about the culture of the Clinton campaign and the national party. [Read more…]
By Martha Sullivan / San Diego Housing Emergency Alliance
Longtime mayoral fixer, Kris Michell, returns to San Diego City Hall this week as Deputy Chief Operating Officer. She seems to be Mayor Faulconer’s “Jared,” with a wide-ranging portfolio:
“Michell was announced Sept. 28 as a top city adviser on homelessness, special events, corporate sponsorships, the commission on arts and culture and the city’s redevelopment arm, Civic San Diego.”
Michell returns to City Hall after several years doing much of the same as the head of the Downtown Partnership — the Business Improvement District for downtown. This city-sanctioned partly-funded entity has been a primary tool for persecuting unsheltered San Diegans left with nowhere to live, after the city’s replacement of 10,000 low-income housing units with market-rate/luxury development (mostly downtown) since 2010. This devastation started during her six years as chief of staff for Mayor Jerry Sanders. [Read more…]
“The Silicon Valley assault must be turned away, not because they’re bad people but because they are peddling snake oil,” says veteran education writer, John Merrow.
Merrow is referencing education technology sales. In the last 10 years, titans of the tech industry have dominated K Street. Hi-tech is now the big dog spending twice as much as the banking industry on lobbying lawmakers.
They funds think tanks to promote their agendas like coding in every public school in America or one to one initiatives (a digital device for every student) or digital learning. Researchers working in think tanks like the New America Foundation will be disciplined if they upset a corporate leader like Google’s Eric Schmidt. Ask Barry Lynn. [Read more…]
Debbie, my first born,
is gone, and now
is but a sweet memory for me
as I mourn.
With tears in my eyes
I reflect on our journey in life together
since she arrived,
seemingly out of the rich blue
of the Tucson skies
on January 4th, 1957,
a wonderful clear and cool
sunny winter day –
when I was but an
eighteen-year-old freshman … [Read more…]