Sunday, May 31, 2009

Suspect Arrested in Murder of KS Abortion Dr. in Church Lobby

Dr. George Tiller, 67, was shot to death just after 10AM  local time at the Reform Lutheran Church in Witchita, KS. Tiller had been a controversial figure in both politics and the courtroom for his performance of late term abortions. A suspect is in custody in Johnson County, KS.
Pro Choice Organization: NARAL
Pro Life Organization: Family Research Council
Roe v. Wade (1973) U.S. Supreme Court
Tiller Family Statement
Tiller called "Mass Murderer"

Sunday Commentary: With A Brother's Help Fallen 9/11 Hero's Work Continues

One blessing that I have had from my diverse range of experiences from cop to lawyer to professor has been exposure to heroes who often operate just under the radar of widespread public acclaim. Hero today is a word whose contemporary overuse has almost stripped it of the meaning that it once had. In my formative stages there were various extraordinary mentors that ranged from a POW father who was a WWII medic to an African-American judge and scholar who almost made it to the Supreme Court to a brave Honor Legion police academy instructor. What all these folks had in common was an indefatigable integrity to promote change and protect others from harm without regard to conformity, personal comfort or vanity. In this media obsessed age, often times, its still these little known community heroes who stand between evil and injustice on behalf of the rest of us. 
I write today about one such unusual and exemplary hero, one who like you, I'll never meet but came to know from an intersection of my Staten Island relatives and his. Chuck Margiotta, simply put was one of those old school New Yorkers who was bigger than life--the kind of handsome renaissance guy who is better suited for a Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen lyric than our little blog posting. Just listing his achievements is a lengthy effort: Graduated Brown with a double major, Ivy League football standout, actor, stuntman, teacher, coach, parish and community leader,  and devoted family man. On 9/11 NYFD Lt. Chuck Margiotta had just completed a 24hr. shift and was safely headed home when after seeing the flames,  turned around, went to the nearest fire house and joined the crew in rescuing people from the World Trade Center. Along with 342 other hero firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers he perished that day serving others. Thanks to another, hero, his brother Mike, Chuck's service to others still continues through various charitable efforts. One major charity event is the Brains, Brawn and Bravery Biker Run next week, Sunday June 7 at 11:15AM at Farrell High School in Staten Island to support scholarships in Chuck's name. You just can't stop the work of true heroes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

News Round Up

NYPD Tragedy: White Officer Mistakenly Kills Af Am Officer
Acclaimed Ethnic Studies Prof. Ron Takaki Dies

Tenn Hate Crimes Surge Over 30% in '08
MS Hate Crime
Catholic Man Beaten to Death by N. Ireland Sports Mob
NYT: Ask the Bomber
War Crimes Investig. Push In Sri Lanka
Obama Looks To Cyber Czar
Palestinian PM Abbas Cautious on Talks
Pakistan on Alert After Bomb Attacks
Sec'y Gates on N. Korea
DOJ Drops Voter Intimidation Case Against New Black Panthers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

News Round Up

New SPLC Intelligence Report: LA Klan Murder, CA Racists

Obama Visits Mid East Next Wk.: PA Curb Hate; Israel Curb Settlements
Holy Land Charity Deft's Get Lengthy Sentences 
Animal Rts. Militants Torch Nevada Business
UCLA Gets Permanent Injunction Against Animal Rights Militants
Children Seized From Supremacist Parents in Canada
Tenn. Hate Crime Bill Delayed

Center in the News

Air America, Montel Across America
OpEd: Don't Abide Hate (w/ Hussein Ibish, ATFP, Campus Hate), Press Enterprise

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Other News

OC, CA: Hate Crime Down Slightly, Up Against Af-Am, Latinos, Jews
CA Murder Case Not Charged As Hate Crime (Center Director Quoted)
Churches Vandalized
Air America Intvw. on Race Realtions, Montel Williams with Brian Levin

CA Sup. Court Upholds Voter Ban on Gay Marriage, But Recognizess Prior Marriages

The California Supreme Court upheld, Proposition 8, a voter ban on same-sex marriage, but allowed 18,000 of these marriages approved before the prohibition took place to be legally recognized. Gay rights advocates intend to place another referendum on the ballot.
Calif. Supreme Court Opinion
Equality California

History Made As Sonia Sotomayor, 1st Latina Nominee For US Supreme Court

US Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor was named today by President Barack Obama to fill the vacancy of departing  Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She is the first Latina nominee, a Puerto Rican,  and if confirmed by the Senate, would be the second Hispanic on the Supreme Court after Justice Benjamin Cardozo. Center Director Brian Levin, an attorney who has authored Supreme Court briefs states, "She has many of the elements Pres. Obama would want in a justice and these make her hard for his political enemies to challenge: 1st class academic pedigree, humble beginnings, not a lot of hot button social issues in her cases, many years of federal judicial experience, a left center approach, and someone with two important demographics- a formidable nominee by any standard"
Fast Facts
  • Born June 25, 1954, 54 years old   Bronx, NY Native,  Divorced
  • Mother a nurse, father died at age 9, Diagnosed as a diabetic
  • AB, Princeton Univ., 1976, Honors Graduate, Pyne Award (Highest general Award); Yale Law School, 1979
  • Ass't DA, NY; Private Practice Atty.
  • Appointed US District Court Judge By Pres. George Bush, Nov. 27, 1991
  • President Clinton Appointed her to US Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit Circuit, Confirmed Oct. 2, 1998, by a 67-29 Senate vote
  • Most Judicial Experience of any nominee in over half a century 
Wash Post
NYT Blog
NY Daily News
New Republic: Critical Piece
Ricci v. Stefano (Affirmative Action Case- She was in Majority, no up before Supreme Court)
CNN: Resume/ Other cases

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gaza Doctor's Courageous Peace Quest; Center Vigorously Supports Nobel Prize Bid

Palestinian physician Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish a renowned doctor and peace proponent lost three daughters and a niece when his home was mistakenly hit by a tank shell during the Gaza War in January 2009. Center Director Brian Levin, met with him recently in Los Angeles and is spearheading the Center's international efforts to support his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Center Director Brian Levin said, "I was moved to tears not only by his tremendous loss, but by his unyielding resolve for peace in the wake of it. His stedfast and virtuous commitment to the divinity of human life, regardless of difference, is not only a special gift, but an urgent directive the world must heed." 
LA Times Interview
Israeli Live TV Interview in aftermath of tragedy (Caution: Sensitive Material)

World Reaction to N. Korea Nuke Test

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Univ. of Cal. President Email on Hateful Speech and Free Expression

(Unconfirmed Email)
Mark G. Yudof, UC President
From: President's Office 
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 3:41 PM
Cc: Lawrence Pitts; Charles Robinson
Subject: RE: UCI and the MSU
May 15, 2009
Dear Mr.
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the series of events the University ofCalifornia, Irvine Muslim Student Union is holding entitled,Israel: the Politics of Genocide. As I hope you will understand, because of the number of messages I have received on this subject, I am sending this same response to all.
I am taking the liberty of forwarding the messages I have received, yours included, to Chancellor Michael Drake of the Irvine campus, who is responsible for the organization and operation of the campus. I can assure you, without reservation, that he is very sensitive to the issues involved, deplores anti-Semitism, and is a strong opponent of it. In addition, several people have called my attention to a UC Irvine electronic billboard advertising the MSU series and have questioned the appropriateness of using UC property for such a purpose. Chancellor Drake has assured me that the offending message was removed from the billboard almost immediately. Please know that I have every confidence that the Chancellor and his staff are addressing the complex issues surrounding this series in a manner that will be appropriately responsive to all the parties involved. I am sure that he will be in touch with you to address your concerns.
As you can imagine, it is difficult for me to separate my public role as President of a state university from my private life as a Jewish man who is active in Jewish causes and a strong defender of Israel. Permit me now to remove my cap and gown and to exercise my First Amendment rights as a private citizen. In my opinion, the title of the series is virulent, historically inaccurate, and offensive to Jewish people everywhere. For me to feel otherwise would be antithetical to my life and beliefs.
Having said that, Chancellor Drake is responsible for ensuring members of the campus community at the University of California, Irvineare allowed to exercise their own speech rights. A university is a special place for the exchange of views and ideas, and it is critical that our policies be conducive to a spirited intellectual life. The Chancellor is working tirelessly to ensure that the many voices are being heard irrespective of their content.
In the event you have not seen it, I enclose a copy of a speech I gave last July to the Hadassah National Convention that addresses the issue of freedom of speech on our college campuses and my perspective as a university administrator, a constitutional law scholar, and as a Jewish individual.
With best wishes, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Mark G. Yudof  President  University of California
Flashback May 2008 OpEd:Freedom, however, also carries with it a responsibility for others, like university presidents and leaders in human relations, not to censor, but to unequivocally condemn hate irrespective of which side of a political cause it hides behind.

News Round Up

North Korea Tests Nukes
Man Charged in P'town, MA Anti-Lesbian Hate Crime
Gays Targetted for Attacks in NSW, Aust.
Terrorism Cases Put Spotlight on Informants
Obama Set to Announce Supreme Court Pick Soon
Judges and Prosecutors Subject to Threats
OpEd: Don't Abide Hate (Hussein Ibish, Amer Task Force on Palestine & Brian Levin,  Note: Headings and Photos Selected by Newspaper)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day News: A Time For America To Remember Its Fallen Soldiers

America's Fallen Soldiers
USA Today: Online Tributes to Heroes
President Obama Proclamation: Prayer for Peace
Homeless Veterans
Gay Officer Ousted After 18 Years Service
Center Director's Statement: Memorial Day Remembrance
On this Memorial Day we join all Americans of good will in honoring those brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the preservation of freedom in the service of our nation and the ideals for which it stands. May they, their families and the United States of America be blessed and protected, and may peace and freedom embrace all people of the Earth. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Round Up

Pres. Obama, Fmr. VP Cheney Speak on Nat'l Security
Massive L.A. Gang Sweep Targets Crime, Race Violence
In Wake of Plot NY Jewish & Muslim Leaders Meet to Decry Violence
Judge Rules on Detentions
WHAS TV News: White Supremacy IKA News Story: KY (referred from a colleague)
SPLC: "Anti-Semitic CA Imam Lies About Hate Crime Bill"
1 in 7 Gitmo Inmates Rejoin Fight
Flashback: 10/12/ 2004 Intvw. on Released Detainees Who Rejoined Terror, O'Reilly Factor
O'REILLY: In the "Unresolved Problem" Segment tonight, as you know, the U.S. government is under tremendous pressure to release suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. So far, more than 200 of those people have been let go, and six have come back to haunt America. That doesn't seem to matter to human rights groups who continue to clamor for the release of suspected terrorists. Joining us now from Los Angeles is Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Now let's run down some of these guys. First of all, it just annoys me. I know we have to watch the detention centers at Guantanamo and other places. I understand that, OK. But it annoys me that these human rights groups -- they just pound and pound and pound. And then when you get one of these guys who's released and they go back and kill or do something heinous, you never hear from these groups. They don't have any comment. And that just makes me crazy. I had to get it off my chest. All right. Abdullah Mehsud. He was released last March with 25 other Gitmo inmates. What happened to him? BRIAN LEVIN, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HATE AND EXTREMISM: Well, he's holding two Chinese people hostage in the Waziristan section of Pakistan, and there are intense negotiations going on now to try and get the release of these two Chinese engineers who are being held by him. He lost his leg. He's about 29 years old, and he is someone who was with the Taliban. O'REILLY: Why is he holding these two people, these two Chinese engineers? What does he want? LEVIN: Well, he's annoyed that there had been shelling of tribal areas. Mehsud is a tribe that's actually in the area, so he shares a name with this tribe. But this tribe wants him to like lay low and get rid of these hostages -- when I say get rid of them, release them -- because it could only mean worse things for them. O'REILLY: Right. So this guy -- this guy's an active Taliban commander living in northwest Pakistan, correct?      LEVIN: That's correct, and in that... O'REILLY: Where bin Laden is supposed to be.  LEVIN: That is exactly correct. In that region where we've seen drug dealing and terrorists, and it's a very difficult area. O'REILLY: So why would -- why would the USA let this guy out, Mehsud? Why would they let him go? LEVIN: It was a mistake. It was a terrible mistake to let this guy go. O'REILLY: All right.        LEVIN: But in fairness...    O'REILLY: Just a mistake? LEVIN: Well, a couple things. First, there's been a significant amount of pressure on the United States to release people. Let me just say that he was released before the United States Supreme Court said that we have to go through a tribunal process basically for these prisoners. O'REILLY: Right, right. LEVIN: So there was something else working there. The other thing that -- let me just say -- is -- I think that -- two things. One is it's very difficult to get information from these people who are at the nether regions of the world. It's not like people like us who have driver's licenses and job records and things like. And it -- we've had difficult with regard to releasing prisoners out to other countries. O'REILLY: OK. Now Mullah Abdul Gaffar was released after serving eight months at Gitmo. He returned to Afghanistan. And what happened to him? LEVIN: He was killed about September 25, September 26, and he was plotting to murder police officers, and they got him first. So he was killed in a firefight. O'REILLY: He was killed in a shoot-out, right, with...  LEVIN: That's correct. He... O'REILLY: ... U.S.-led coalition troops. LEVIN: In a vicious firefight with U.S. troops. Absolutely. O'REILLY: So this is another mistake that Gaffar was left out. He goes right back and he starts more terrorism, right?LEVIN: He should have never been released. O'REILLY: OK. That's two that shouldn't have. How about Mullah Shazada? Who's he? LEVIN: Yes, he was killed in May '04. He was a provincial Taliban leader, and he was released in the spring of 2003.       O'REILLY: All right.   LEVIN: So here's another example. O'REILLY: Is this a pattern of behavior then, that you release these guys and a large portion of them go back to jihad? LEVIN: We don't know how large a portion, but let me say this. There are currently 550, approximately, people at Gitmo. We've had 130 who have just been let go outright. We've had about another 30 that have been released to the care of other governments. But, once we release them to the custody of other governments, we don't know what will happen. O'REILLY: Yes, we don't know what happens. LEVIN: The Soviets let seven people go who we thought were going to get incarcerated. O'REILLY: Right. Until they take a hostage or kill somebody. LEVIN: That's correct.   O'REILLY: Mr. Levin, thanks very much. We appreciate your expertise.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

President Obama's Notre Dame Speech: Finding Common Ground

US Observes 55th Anniversary of Brown Decision

Fifty-five years ago today the United States Supreme Court held for the first time in  Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, and its companion cases, that segregated public schools for African-American and white students was inherently unequal and thus violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause.

The lead case was brought on behalf of an 11 year old African-American school student, Linda Brown, who was required by the Topeka, Kansas school board to attend a segregated school. The Brown decision was the Court's first ruling to overturn the "separate but equal" doctrine first upheld by the Supreme Court in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. While technically the Brown case applied only to public schools, it laid the Constitutional philosophical foundation used to overturn racial segregation in an array of cases since. The Brown case and its philosophical opposite, Dred Scott v. Sanford (which upheld slavery), are considered by legal scholars and historians as the two most important Supreme Court decisions in American history.

The case was argued by Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967 when he was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson. During oral argument in 1953 Marshall stated, " [T]he only way that this Court can decide this case in opposition to our to find that for some reason Negroes are inferior to all other human beings." 

The following year the Chief Justice Earl Warren writing for a unanimous court stated,  "To separate them [African-American children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone."

The decision met with fierce resistance in some areas, particularly in the American South. Southern Senators issued a "Southern Manifesto" and many local leaders and governors openly refused to carry out the Supreme Court's order. In 1955 the Court issued a subsequent decision in Brown II (Brown v. Bd. of Education, 349 U.S. 294) in 1955 where it ordered local school officials to pursue desegregation efforts "with all deliberate speed."

Still, many public officials refused to comply with the Brown rulings. In 1957 President Dwight Eisenhower ordered federal troops to desegregate Little Rock Central High School over Governor Orval Faubus' opposition. The following year the Supreme Court castigated Faubus' actions in the case ofCooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958). In 1964 the Supreme Court stated that there was "too much deliberation and not enough speed" in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218 (1964). There, the Supreme Court by a 7-2 vote maintained that it was unconstitutional for a county to close down its public school system to avoid compliance with the Brown decision. Today, many public schools throughout the nation remain heavily segregated because of segregated housing patterns in American society.

For more reading:Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Band of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution

Simple Justice: The History of Brown V. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for EqualityRichard Kluger Format: Paperback, 823pp.ISBN: 0394722558  Publisher: Vintage Books Pub. Date: January 1977

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965Juan Williams With Eyes on the Prize Production Team Julian Bond (Introduction)

Format: Paperback, 304pp. ISBN: 0140096531 Publisher: Viking Penguin
Pub. Date: December 1987



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Longtime KKK PA Leader Roy Frankhouser Dead At 69, Body Unclaimed

Roy Frankhouser, 69,  a neo-Nazi who led a state chapter for UKA, and who was involved in hate groups for his entire adult life died outside of Reading on May 15 in a nursing house. In 2000 he settled a HUD case with civil rights advocate Bonnie Jouhari to run public service spots against hate on his Klan related cable television show. In and out of court and prison during most of his life, he allied himself with some of the most notorious and oddball haters of his era such as Lyndon LaRouche, George Lincoln Rockwell and Jewish American Nazi leader Dan Burros, who committed suicide in his home when his lineage was reported in the press. Center Director Brian Levin, longtime attorney for Jouhari,  who confronted him in 1998, said "I pray he finds the empathy for people in death, that had eluded him in life and made for a lonely and sad existence."

News Round Up

"Satanic" Gay Rallies Broken Up By Moscow Riot Police, Scores Detained
Islamophobia & Terrorism Decried At Eurasia Islamic Council Event
Jt. Fed/Local Probe of CA Racist Home Attack, $10K Reward Offered
UCR Chancellor  Statement Ahead of Anti-Semitic Speaker's 2nd Visit

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Resist: Zionist Control, Shepard Hate Crime Act & Peace Dialogue Speaker Urges at UCI

Controversial convert and  Imam Abdel Malik Ali (left), surrounded by student security, made an often fiery speech today at the University of California, Irvine as part of a weeks long Palestinian awareness series.  In a wide ranging lecture of approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Ali warned of the dangers of entrenched Zionist Jewish control of the media and the Obama administration. Part of his speech was not significantly different from that of many mainstream critics of Israeli policy or of the recent Gaza War which left a vastly disproportionate number of Palestinian civilian casualties. More frequently, however, he angrily promoted conspiracy theories or passively injected traditional anti-Semitic inferences about why Zionists and Jews are resented. He vigorously  extolled Hamas, repeatedly called Israelis Nazis destined to defeat, and strongly attacked dialogue and peace talks. He also appeared to suggest that there was a wide range in the number of those killed in the Holocaust and that the term was unfairly used in such a way to deny the suffering of others. He made the same basic charge with regard to the use of the term anti-Semitism to refer to European Jews, when other Semites are excluded.  Mr. Ali emphatically painted a scenario where Zionist Jewish control was cracking as a backlash against them emerged through abusive censorship, institutional control and their support for Israeli violence. In addition to the government, he singled out such corporations as Motorola and organizations like AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and its leader Abe Foxman. He said the last card his critics have are charges of anti-Semitism, which he maintains are false. Perhaps most bizarre was Ali’s lengthy and baseless contention that the newly proposed federal hate crime legislation, known as the Matthew Shepard Act (which is supported by the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee), was an AIPAC drafted conspiracy to imprison Muslims and others who criticized Jews and Israel or dared to critically discuss the Holocaust. He proudly stated that he would break that law by continuing to speak out. Its text which can be found below does not punish such speech, but rather violent acts. He demurred from answering the Center director’s question directly about his longstanding position on Jews orchestrating the 9/11 attacks or what he would do to gays in the United States  under his long  sought after post democratic theocracy. He is expected to speak next week at Univ. of California, Riverside. 

Matthew Shepard Act:

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News Round Up

Census: Hispanic & Asian Population Growth Falls, "Minority" at 34%
SF Jury: Triple Murderer Guilty, But Not of Hate Crime
Neo-Nazi Trial Starts July 7

Tuesday, May 12, 2009