Thursday, November 15, 2018

Butte College needs our help.

The Butte College community up north needs our help. Students, staff and faculty have been displaced and some have lost everything. Rebel Girl heard from an IVC colleague who has strong connections up north and who has been privy to emails from students, faculty and staff. They are devastated. CTA represents the faculty at Butte and has made available disaster relief funds for them -and those affected by the Woolsey Fire as well. The CTA website lists a number of other resources for folks who want to help: Wildfires: How You Can Help

Among the resources listed there: the Butte College Education Association has set up two funds, one for faculty and staff, the other for students. Your donation at this time can make a real difference.

Click here for Butte College Student Fire Relief Fund


CSU Fullerton: "a responsibility to stand against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate"

Cal State Fullerton has a student newspaper and so can respond swiftly online and in print to campus events like this one. Check out their editorial:

Editorial: Anti-Semitism at California State University Fullerton

The phrase “For the many, not the Jew” appeared on a electrical city box on Tuesday outside of College Park. It brought with it the reminder that hate still has a voice, and far worse, it has found a way to speak on our campus.

The vandalized electrical box was downstairs from the Daily Titan newsroom, and feet away from a building frequented by Cal State Fullerton students.

While a written message may not seem like cause for concern, it occurs on the heels of a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pennsylvania as well as a string of anti-Semitic acts that occurred in Orange County over the last month.

It also brings anti-Semitism right to our campus a little over a week after local Jewish communities held a vigil at Becker Amphitheater for the 11 people killed in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

The message was scrawled in what appeared to be black marker, which would suggest that whoever wrote it did so in a careless manner and without much thought for how their message would be received.

In a time when white supremacist propaganda on college campuses has been increasing, especially in California, hateful messages like these can’t be taken lightly.

With so much hate in the nation, our campus should work to remain a safe place of acceptance, growth and knowledge, where people from all backgrounds can come to better themselves and their futures.

While the message isn’t a direct threat and wasn’t deemed as a hate crime by University Police, its intent is inherently hateful and shouldn’t be tolerated.

We cannot allow hate to be normalized in any capacity, furthering the deep divisions that have already embedded themselves into this nation.

This university is one of the most diverse college campuses in the state, and students, faculty and staff have a responsibility to stand against anti-Semitism and other forms of hate in solidarity.


The Daily Titan was founded in 1960.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This Week in Threats, Heeded, Unheeded

This week at CSU Fullerton (photo from Orange County Jewish Life Magazine)
What to do in the face of threats?

I hope people call me insane’: Social media posts, former teachers reveal alarming mind-set of Thousand Oaks gunman by Matt Hamilton, James Queally and Richard Winton
Cluke, the former high school track coach, said she considered Long to be a “ticking time bomb.” She and another assistant coach, Dominque Colell, recalled how Long attacked Colell during a dispute in 2008. Colell said she was trying to determine if Long owned a cellphone that had been found by another student, and he was shaking with rage.
“He started to grab at me,” she said. “He reached around and with one arm, groped my stomach. He grabbed my butt with the other arm.” Colell said she reported the incident to school officials, who urged her to drop the issue to avoid jeopardizing Long’s dream of joining the military. “He was very determined and very angry,” she said. “He was probably the only student that I was actually scared of when I coached there.”...

Cluke said she witnessed the attack on Colell, and chose to speak out now because she felt sickened by what her former colleague had endured in attempting to hold Long accountable.“To be sexually violated and told by your bosses, ‘Get used to it’ ... it’s so wrong,” she said....
Cluke said she told her father, a staff member at the high school, and did her best to monitor Long herself. She felt that other staff members in positions of authority ignored Long’s behavior. “They chalk it up to being a teenage boy,” she said. “He needed help back then, and nobody even thought to seek any help for him.”
 L.A. Unified apologizes for keeping mum about armed man who tried to lure middle school girls off campus by Howard Blume
School district officials took the unusual step Wednesday night of offering an unqualified apology to an angry audience of parents.
The administrators told more than 200 parents at Reed Middle School that they had erred in failing to notify them and staff that a man had reportedly approached girls at school and then returned days later in a truck containing an arsenal of illegal weapons.
While insisting that the man posed no threat, officials said they had made the wrong call in keeping parents of students at the Studio City campus in the dark for more than two weeks. “We’re sorry,” said regional operations administrator Andres E. Chait. “This is something that was inexcusable.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Jackass Rohrabacher dispatched by Democrat; Trump an international embarrassment. Again.

Dana Rohrabacher, a pro-Russia Republican, narrowly loses House seat
(Washington Post)
     A Republican congressman known for his outspoken support for Russian President Vladimir Putin narrowly lost his Orange County, Calif., seat after 15 terms, a defeat that helped Democrats further solidify their House majority.
     Democrat Harley Rouda, a real estate executive, beat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in one of the state’s most closely watched congressional races, the Associated Press projected on Saturday. Rohrabacher’s strong identification with President Trump and his unabashed support for Russia had made him ripe for a challenge in an affluent district that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
. . .
     Rohrabacher’s friendliness toward Russia has raised eyebrows over the years and became a focal point in the race. Referred to as “Putin’s favorite congressman,” the longtime Republican lawmaker has said that Putin beat him in a drunken arm-wrestling match in the early 1990s to decide who won the Cold War.
     The FBI warned Rohrabacher in 2012 that Russian spies were actively trying to recruit him. In 2015, Rohrabacher met with a woman in Russia who was later charged in the United States with spying for Moscow, an indictment the lawmaker called “bogus.”
     And he has expressed doubts about the intelligence community’s consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 election….

French President Rebukes Trump’s “America First” Mantra
(Mother Jones)
     “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” he said as Trump looked on uncomfortably.
     President Donald Trump’s troubled trip to France took a turn for the worse on Sunday. After Trump faced international criticism Saturday for skipping a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to honor soldiers killed in World War I, he received a new rebuke from French President Emmanuel Macron, who took a barely veiled swipe at Trump’s foreign policy during a ceremony Sunday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.
     “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said at the Armistice Day event, speaking in French. “By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace, and what is essential: its moral values.”….

Friday, November 9, 2018

In case you missed it: news in review including IVC student in New Yorker article...

The success of Katie Porter’s sharply progressive candidacy in a place with so much Republican history and cultural mythology on its side has meaning even if she does not prevail.
photograph by Mike Blake / Reuters
Rebel Girl doesn't know what you do after election day but she reads. She is old school that way. It has its rewards like this: discovering an IVC student in this New Yorker article about Katie Porter whose efforts to succeed Mimi Walters to represent  CA-45 is still undecided. (Nate Silvers at 538 just moved the race from Toss Up to Lean Dem.)

"Chasing the Blue Wave in Orange County" by Dana Goodyear
Irvine, a little inland from the coast, is part of CA-45, where Katie Porter, a professor of consumer-protection law, had hoped to overtake the Republican incumbent, Mimi Walters, in a race that was supposed to be an indicator of the region’s changing political makeup. Porter’s name, in pink poster paint on a board emblazoned with dressing-room lights, adorned the entrance to a ballroom at the Hilton. Inside, supporters mingled, waited, checked phones, booed Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, when he appeared on a large screen, and drank. When my eyes grew fatigued from watching screens, they sought shoes: flip-flops, Birkenstocks, Converse, hiking shoes, a few pairs of party flats with bows, Vans. Polling, a notoriously inexact science, had called the race for the Forty-fifth a tossup. I had a fleeting thought that there might not be enough party-flat-wearing women in the crowd for a Porter win. In the hotel bar, where everyone was watching CNN, I heard someone at a table of Porter people say, about the nationwide results, “Honestly, it’s not going to be as much of a blowout as I thought. I thought it’d be a frickin’ landslide.”

Back in the ballroom, I asked two Porter volunteers, in Vans, friends since elementary school, what drew them to Porter. “I live below the poverty line with my father,” Shayan Ehssan, who is Persian-American, told me. He is nineteen and goes to a community college. “I like the liberal agenda,” he said.
Ehssan is an IVC student - and his childhood friend, mentioned later in the article, may be as well.  It's good to see our students engaged in the electoral process and to see them featured in such a high profile publication as the New Yorker. What would attract Ehssan and other students to Porter's campaign? Goodyear's answer:
Student debt is not part of the incumbent’s platform; she’s far more interested in the national debt, and how to reduce it by cutting government spending. Mimi Walters was the only Orange County Republican to vote for Trump’s tax plan. Defending it, she said that her constituents—business owners and those with 401(k)s and stock portfolios—were thriving. Her allegiances were clearly with high earners, not with community-college students living with their dads. “Remember,” Walters told CNBC, “Many people who are in the, let’s say $200,000-$500,000 range, they had the alternative minimum tax. We’ve done away with it.”
Another great read this week: "An obituary for old Orange County, dead at age 129" by Gustavo Arellano published in the LA Times.
“Orange County,” the California collection of 34 cities and 3.2 million residents once described by President Reagan as where “all the good Republicans go to die,” died Tuesday. It was 129 years old.

Long famous for its wealth, whiteness and conservative values, Orange County is survived by its offspring, who include a population that is about 60% people of color, some of the most crowded and poor neighborhoods in the United States and a Republican Party that’s on the ropes. Once reliably red, the official cause of O.C.’s passing is a case of the blue flu, which turned its politics more purple than Barney the dinosaur....
Finally, considering all that's happening on campus and in our community, it's worth noting Frank John Tristan's feature article in this week's OC Weekly: RISE ABOVE, UNMASKED: A FORMER WEEKLYINTERN RECALLS HOW HIS SURF CITY ASSAULT BECAME AN FBI CRIMINAL PROBE INTO AN ALT-RIGHT GROUP

The article closes at the recent screening of the PBS/Pro Public documentary: Documenting Hate: Charlottesville at Chapman University, sponsored by OC Human Relations Council and others, featuring journalist A.C. Thompson, Gustavo Arellano and many more. The article concludes:
In response to moderator Dr. Lisa Leitz’s question regarding what to do about the growing threat of violence from white supremacists, Arellano said, “The most important thing is to shed light. “Back when I was at the OC Weekly, we’d always get criticized: ‘Why are you reporting on these fringe groups? They don’t matter; they don’t do anything at all. They’re losers,’” he explained. “And our response was ‘Yeah, they’re losers, but somebody needs to keep an eye on them, and more important, somebody needs to expose them.’ As a reporter, you have to be able to expose these people, and you can’t stop.”
Illustration by Richie Beckman


Thursday, November 8, 2018


Not so long ago
Election 2018: Orange County GOP faces tipping point in longtime stronghold
(OC Reg)
Democrats have closed the gap by holding its voter share while GOP’s older voters die and are replaced on the rolls by young, independent voters — and to a lesser extent, by Republicans re-registering as independents. In 1990, Republicans edge over Democrats was 56 percent to 34 percent. Today, it’s 34.7 percent to 33.5 percent.
As recently as 2002, voters under 34 favored the GOP 42 percent to 29 percent. Today, people of that age favor Democrats 38 percent to 20 percent. Voters ages 35 to 44 also favor Democrats. Voters 44 and older prefer the GOP, with the Republican advantage biggest among those over 70.
In 2002, Latinos were 18 percent of registered voters and favored Democrats over Republicans 53 percent to 28 percent. Today, they are 20 percent of voters and prefer Democrats 52 percent to 17 percent.
In 2002, Asians were 9 percent of registered voters and favored Republicans 40 percent to 31 percent. Now they are 15 percent of voters and prefer Democrats 30 percent to 29 percent. While Republicans still have the edge among Vietnamese, Democrats are more popular among East Indians, Filipinos and Koreans. Chinese and Japanese are almost evenly divided.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Voter suppression: 1988 and 2018

The pious Mr. Fuentes
Without evidence, Trump and Sessions warn of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections (Washington Post)
President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday issued strong warnings about the threat of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections, echoing the president’s baseless claims that massive voter fraud marred his 2016 election and prompting accusations that his administration is trying to intimidate voters.
. . .
In remarks to reporters on his way to a campaign rally in Cleveland, Trump also falsely claimed that voter fraud is commonplace.
. . .
Voting rights advocates denounced Trump’s remarks as a blatant attempt to intimidate voters on the eve of Election Day — and part of a pattern among Republicans, they said, to curtail voting access with strict rules that disproportionately affect voters of color who tend to vote Democratic.
     Perhaps some DtB readers will recall that the KING—and modern-day original practitioner—of outrageous voter intimidation tactics was none other than Tom Fuentes, who joined the SOCCCD Board of Trustees in July of 2000:

That notorious episode: Tom's "goons" (DtB, 1/16/10)
     SOCCCD Trustee Tom Fuentes may be pious as hell, but he ain't decent.
     Perhaps the most notorious episode of Fuentean ungentlemanliness (aka abject loutitude) occurred twenty-one [now 30] years ago.

     In an open letter to Tom, in 2005, Gustavo Arellano describes the incident:
...[Y]ou approved the use of poll guards to stand outside polling places in Latino neighborhoods when they cast ballots for the 72nd Assembly District race. The Republican Party candidate, Curt Pringle, won the election. But the subsequent furor led to your resignation as communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Orange, an exodus of Latino voters from the GOP (the first of many, it would turn out) and various settlements of lawsuits regarding the matter totaling more than $480,000. (See An open letter to the former GOP chairman, current college trustee, forever self-destroyer, OC Weekly.)
     It happened during the election of 1988....
Fuentes and Bush, pals

IVC in the News

Anti-semitism in action in Irvine. Clip from security camera at Beth Jacob Synogogue. 

IVC in the news:

from Newsweek:


The Brooklyn synagogue was vandalized a day after a similar incident took place in California.
The Beth Jacob Synagogue in Irvine, California, was defaced with anti-Semitic slurs on Wednesday, ABC News reported.
"This morning's news of anti-Semitic vandalism against one of Irvine’s synagogues, along with reports of a recent incident at Irvine Valley College, are both enraging and unacceptable," Irvine Mayor Don Wagner said of the incident. "They will not go unchallenged by the good people of Irvine. An attack on anyone in Irvine of any faith is an attack on us all."...
The murders and vandalism come amid rising anti-Semitism under President Donald Trump, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In 2017, anti-Semitic incidents increased 57 percent, according to the organization. The 1,986 anti-Semitic events recorded last year represented the second-highest number in the ADL's almost four decades of tracking.
from CNN
A California synagogue was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti four days after Pittsburgh
Mayor Don Wagner said the vandalism and a similar anti-Semitic incident at Irvine Valley College are "enraging and unacceptable."
In early October, police found swastikas scrawled in the restrooms of the college, according to a local councilwoman.

from the LA Times:
Officials offer reward for tips leading to suspect in vandalism of Irvine synagogue
Glenn Roquemore, president of Irvine Valley College, promised to stay vocal against hate and violence across the country, adding that school officials recently discovered swastikas defacing restrooms on campus.

The OC Register also covered this but Rebel Girl can't get behind their paywall and refuses to renew her subscription until they stop giving white supremacists and their ilk a platform in their comments section.

Meanwhile in Florida in case anyone (anyone?) is interested in how misogynistic threats against women are manifested and carried out:

Gunman In Yoga Studio Attack Had A Criminal History, Posted Racist And Sexist Videos
The AP also reported that Beierle was banned from FSU's campus in 2014.... And one woman, Courtnee Connon, who told the Tallahassee Democrat that Beierle grabbed her buttocks in her dining hall at FSU in 2012, said she spoke with police but ultimately decided not to pursue charges against Beierle. Connon, who was 18 at the time of the incident, told the Democrat she was scared by the idea of going to court and unsure criminal charges would deter Beierle from assaulting women in the future.
Scott Paul Beierle
On Saturday, Buzzfeed News reported that Beierle had uploaded a series of racist and misogynist videos to YouTube in 2014, and that he had also posted songs on SoundCloud in the past few months. According to Buzzfeed News, a song posted shortly before Friday's shooting included the lyrics: "To hell with the boss that won't get off my back /To hell with the girl I can't get in the sack." Additionally, one of Beierle's YouTube videos reportedly expressed sympathy with Elliot Rodger, who went on a misogynist killing rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014.
All of Beierle's original videos were removed from YouTube after Buzzfeed News published its story, but a video posted to YouTube on Saturday appears to be a duplicate of one of Beierle's original video rants. In it, a man whose likeness matches the photo of Beierle released by the Tallahassee Police Department uses a racial slur to describe black people and goes on to list the reasons he despises them. It includes a section in which he called black women "ugly and disgusting."
The AP also reported that "a man who looks like Beierle" appeared in a series of videos posted to YouTube in 2014, and that in the videos he called women who date black men "whores," spoke of an "invasion" from Central America and ranted about women....
Miller could not confirm misogyny as a motive in this attack. But Beierle's online emphasis on romantic rejection — and his reference to Elliot Rodger — does call to mind the group of men on the Internet who term themselves "incels," which is short for "involuntarily celibate."
...In April, a man linked to the incel community plowed his van into a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people. In the aftermath of that attack, NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke with Arshy Mann, a Toronto-based reporter who covers incels and defines them as an "online subculture of young men who feel very frustrated with their sexual and romantic lives."
Be safe out there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Meanwhile, across town...

Today at the orthodox synagogue on Michelson, just off Culver. 
From Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine:

Dear Friends,

I’m very sorry to report that last night Beth Jacob was a target of a cowardly act by an individual who spray-painted an anti-Semitic message on the front wall of our synagogue facing Michelson Drive. The hateful graffiti was discovered by our staff this morning, at which point Irvine Police Department was notified and a full investigation is underway.

Here is what we know so far based on our camera footage. At about 1:18 AM, an individual wearing a hoodie, sunglasses and a surgical facemask jumped our fence at the pedestrian entrance on Michelson Drive. The suspect proceeded towards the wall where the Beth Jacob of Irvine sign is facing the street and began to spray-paint his hateful message. After he was done, the suspect left the premises on a bicycle he apparently stolen from our premises.

The Irvine Police Department and our own security have done a full sweep of the entire facility and nothing was found other than the graffiti.

We are continuing to do everything we can to make our campus more secure, and we will continue to promote the message that we are stronger than hate.


Allen Berezovsky, Rabbi Ciner, Beth Jacob Board of Directors and Our Security Team


Butte College needs our help.

The Butte College community up north needs our help. Students, staff and faculty have been displaced and some have lost everything. Rebel...