Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More pictures

San Diego - Out of Iraq March and Rally

Here are a few photos from last Saturday's march and rally at the five year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Click on the title and there's a link to a slide show of all the photos. (editors note: photo quality, bleh. That's the second time my photos came back looking very washed out from that dadblasted drug store photo developing thingie.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

San Diego rallys for peace

It got a little cool and windy today, but the threatened thunderstorms held off so we had a dry afternoon for our rally and march in memorial of the five year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

I'm terrible at headcounts, but according to Frank at The OB Rag, there were about 1000 people at the rally in Teralta Park in City Heights this afternoon. I think that sounds about right. The crowd wasn't enormous, but they were noisy, enthusiastic and strong in their opposition to the official US policy in Iraq. I took my camera but didn't stop to get the film developed on the way home. I'll have some pictures later. My digital camera is sick.

I'm glad I got to see Gore Vidal. He said he's not endorsing either Clinton or Obama because he'll be pleased if either of them win the November election. Me too. I think we'd agree that either one of them would be a damn sight better than John McBush and his 100 year war.

The main theme and focus of the rally was the obscene amount of money that we're spending in Iraq while the economy suffers, people go without basic healthcare, infant mortality rises, and schools are closed due to a lack of money. Our national priorities have been flipped on their heads as we spend $275 million every single day in Iraq. Honest to Pete, if that doesn't boggle your mind, you are completely unboggleable.

More later...with pix.

Your Insignificance Will Be Televised

Allison Kilkenny at The Smirking Chimp writes in Your Insignificance Will Be Televised:

The national media is quick to remind the American citizenry that their opinions don't matter.

Meanwhile, moments of democratic triumph go largely unreported. Take, for example, residents of California voting out all five members of a local planning group that had backed plans to allow Blackwater Worldwide to open a training camp in their area. Blackwater claims they hightailed it because of noise regulations and not the angry battle cries of the California residents, which is a lie. If the California residents had warmly embraced plans for the mercenary training facility, Blackwater's merry engineers would have rushed in overnight to start building. It was only the will of the people that prevented this from happening.

Not only is she giving a shout out to the anti-Blackwater activists in San Diego, she's making a great point about how corporate media perpetuates a culture of insignificance and victim hood that makes people more inclined to just lay on their sofa and take what ever an "uncaring government and corporate elites" have in store for them.

Americans have been conditioned to believe protest is a silly waste of time, that being a fringe candidate like Ralph Nader is annoying and bothersome, and that they are weak, helpless creatures that will forever be exploited by our big, evil government. They must accept, says the media, that their votes will not be counted, that their children will receive a poor education and poorer health care, and they will either die beneath a mountain of debt or from the retaliation of rebels reacting to our government's retarded foreign policies. Any way you spin it, the message is clear: You are all fucked. Stop trying.

Except, that's not true, and Americans know it.

She's right. We can stand up and said no to the Powers That Be, and in the end, will prevail. The onslaught may be inevitable, but we don't have to just accept whatever corporate interests want to shove down our throats, and we know it. Just take a look at what happened in Potrero.

Friday, March 14, 2008

March and Rally in San Diego Saturday 3/15/08

Friday, March 07, 2008

Blackwater cancels plans to build in Potrero

Blackwater USA has cancelled their plans to build a training camp in Potrero. Woo and hoo! The letter to the County says it's because it doesn't meet their business objectives at this time. And this from the UT,

Bonfiglio said noise tests the company conducted at the site did not meet county standards, and the cost of reducing the noise was too expensive.

In other words, the anti-Blackwater activists were right all along. Potrero was no place for that type of facility, and there was no way in hell they could mitigate the noise and environmental impact in that valley. Amazing.

Do you want my opinion? Well, of course you do! You're here, aren't you? I think one of their prime objectives was to slowly but surely build a border protection division. When that concept became public knowledge, even those who didn't object to Blackwater on principle thought that was a terrible idea. Maybe they weren't inclined to stir up even more public opposition. It wouldn't be good for those aforementioned "business objectives".

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

PDA Metro San Diego Endorses Vickie Butcher in CA-52

According to a story today at the Progressive Democrats of America website, the Metro San Diego chapter of PDA has endorsed Vickie Butcher in the 52nd Congressional District. Excellent choice! Vickie is running for the seat that Duncan Hunter has held for forever and a day. His son, Duncan Jr., is running in his stead in the upcoming June primary. There are several Democratic candidates running in this race, but Butcher is the clear progressive choice, and I'm very happy to see an endorsement for Vickie Butcher from San Diego's Metro PDA Chapter.

Vickie generated much excitement among those present as she spoke against the war and for universal health care, election reform, and ending poverty. She plans to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus next January.

Vickie easily won the endorsement and is genuinely pleased to have the Metro chapter's support. A true progressive in every sense, she faces three candidates in the CA 52 Democratic primary on June 3, none of whom sought the endorsement.

Vickie Butcher's public service and leadership resume is impressive, to say the least. She's been an East County resident for 27 years, has taught in the Grossmont School District and at Grossmont Community College. She has chaired the El Cajon Planning Commission, and been a member of the Grossmont Hospital Foundation Board and California Regional Water Quality Control Board. She also has a law degree, and many years of experience with a wide range of public agencies.

Butcher's leadership skills haven't been contained by the boundaries of CA-52! According to her campaign website:

I also bring national and international leadership skills to this race. As past president of the National Medical Association Auxiliary, and a member of an FDA panel on medical issues, I speak with authority in support of universal healthcare for all. As executive director of Water for Children Africa, a nonprofit organization, I have led international humanitarian efforts to bring water and medical supplies to those in need. I also organized 11 international trade and business conferences. As a small business owner myself, I understand the needs of the business community, while also supporting the rights and needs of working people.

That's very modest. Read her campaign website's Bio page for more about Butcher's extensive leadership experience and impressive catalog of achievements. Public service is clearly one significant part of her life's calling, and becoming the Democratic Congressional representative for the 52nd is another step on that path.

San Diego's East County has been strongly Republican for a long time, but that is changing. In the presidential primary just past, 45% of the voters in the district voted for a Democrat. That's an amazing number to this long-time East County resident who's seen Duncan Hunter win election after election by extremely large margins. Another Congressional District is turning blue....and they said it couldn't be done. Oh boy, were they wrong.

Please help Vickie win by going to her website at and make a generous donation! And if you're a member of the La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club you can also support her by attending tomorrow evening's endorsement meeting at 7pm at the La Mesa Recreation Center (4975 Memorial Drive, just off University Ave. in La Mesa).

Then in the upcoming June election, Vote For Vickie!

(crossposted at Calitics)

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Monday, March 03, 2008

New Stuff!

First, a new blog on the ol' blogroll. Welcome to the The PoliticalCat. We found one another by way of Blogroll Amnesty Day. Thanks again, Skippy.

Also, a new banner that links to Women Voice's Women Vote where you can nominate your favorite female blogger. For Women's History Month, WVWV is honoring women who've used the internet to raise their political voices. I don't know about you, but it's kind of hard for me to pick ONE

and finally...the Five Years Too Many banner. March 19, 2008 is the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. There are many actions scheduled between the 13th and the 19th culminating in a massive protest in Washington DC on March 19. For those of us in San Diego who won't be traveling, the members of the San Diego Coaltion for Peace and Justice are calling for a march and rally at Fairmount and University Avenue at 12 noon on Saturday March 15 (flyer/pdf). The featured speaker after the march at Teralta Park will be Gore Vidal. That should be interesting.

See you there!