Monthly Archives: October 2011



 Stuart Carlson

Stuart Carlson, @

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 10-30-2011



Published: October 29, 2011


Howard E. Wolpe, a former congressman who played a crucial role in passing legislation that imposed economic sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s, helping to bring an end to apartheid while overcoming two vetoes by President Ronald Reagan, died Tuesday at his home in Saugatuck, Mich. He was 71.


Doug Mills/Associated Press

President Bill Clinton with Howard E. Wolpe in 1994.


His cousin Bruce Wolpe said the cause had not been determined.

Mr. Wolpe, a Democrat, represented the Third Congressional District in southwestern Michigan for 14 years, starting in 1978. He was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa from 1982 to 1992. That placed him at the forefront of America’s policy response to the growing domestic movement pressuring South Africa’s government to end more than half a century of white supremacist rule.

He was a primary sponsor of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which imposed sanctions against American companies doing business in South Africa. Among its provisions, it called for government pension plans to withdraw their investments from corporations doing billions of dollars of business there.

That was too blunt for the White House. “President Reagan saw South Africa as an important ally against expansion of Soviet influence, and he was a very pro-business president,” Steve McDonald, director of the Africa program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said on Friday. “He wanted to use what he called ‘constructive engagement’ with the government to bring an end to apartheid.”

Mr. Reagan twice vetoed versions of the law. Though the second draft was weaker, in Mr. Wolpe’s opinion, he led the effort to marshal the bipartisan support needed in both the House and Senate to overturn the second veto.

From the House floor on Aug. 1, 1985, he declared: “The white minority regime will abandon apartheid, and will agree to enter into negotiations with the credible black leadership of the majority of the population, only at that point when it concludes that it has more to lose than to gain by attempting to hold on to apartheid.”

Mr. Wolpe retained his concern for Africa well after he retired from Congress in 1992. In a statement on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “as special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes Region under President Clinton, he supported peace talks that helped bring an end to longstanding civil wars in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Howard Eliot Wolpe was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, 1939, the only child of Arthur and Zelda Wolpe. He graduated from Reed College in Oregon and went on the earn a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Soon after, he began teaching at Western Michigan University. He was later a professor at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Before entering Congress, Mr. Wolpe served in the Michigan House of Representatives. He ran for governor in 1994 but lost to the incumbent, John Engler.

Mr. Wolpe’s first marriage, to Celia Jeanene Taylor, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Julianne Fletcher, and a son from his first marriage, Michael.

Apartheid ended in 1994. Among the conditions for lifting sanctions in the legislation championed by Mr. Wolpe was that the South African government release Nelson Mandela from prison.

“One of the first calls that Mandela made when he was finally released in 1990,” Mr. McDonald said, “was to Howard Wolpe to thank him for playing the role he did in passing the law.”





Published: October 27, 2011


James Hillman, a charismatic therapist and best-selling author whose theories about the psyche helped revive interest in the ideas of Carl Jung, animating the so-called men’s movement in the 1990s and stirring the pop-cultural air, died on Thursday at his home in Thompson, Conn. He was 85.


Bill Ballenberg

James Hillman in 1985. His ideas revived interest in Jung.

The cause was complications of bone cancer, his wife, Margot McLean-Hillman, said.

Part scholar, part mystic and part performance artist in his popular lectures, Mr. Hillman began making waves from the day he became the director of studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich in 1959.

Mr. Hillman followed his mentor’s lead in taking aim at the assumptions behind standard psychotherapies, including Freudian analysis, arguing that the best clues for understanding the human mind lay in myth and imagination, not in standard psychological or medical concepts.

His 1964 book, “Suicide and the Soul,” challenged therapists to view thoughts of death not as symptoms to be cured but more as philosophical longings to be explored and understood. A later book, “Re-Visioning Psychology,” argued that psychology’s narrow focus on pathology served only to amplify feelings of anxiety and depression.

Feelings like those, he said, are rooted not in how one was treated as a child or in some chemical imbalance but in culture, in social interactions, in human nature and its churning imagination. For Mr. Hillman, a person’s demons really were demons, and the best course was to accept and understand them. To try to banish them, he said, was only to ask for more trouble.

He might advise a parent trying to manage, say, a mentally troubled son to begin by “stop trying to change him.”

By the time he returned to the United States in 1970s, Mr. Hillman had adapted Jungian ideas into a model he called archetypal psychology, rooted in the aesthetic imagination. It was irresistible for many artists, poets, and musicians. The actress Helen Hunt, the composer and performer Meredith Monk, the actor Mark Rylance and John Densmore, the drummer for the Doors, were among his adherents, drawn in part by his force of personality, at once playful and commanding, generous and cunning.

“For all his Saturnine and Martial defense of psyche in our scientifically defined cosmos,” Mr. Rylance wrote in a statement, “he is the most jovial person to sit with.”

In the late 1980s, Mr. Hillman and two friends, the poet Robert Bly and the writer and storyteller Michael J. Meade, began leading conferences exploring male archetypes in myths, fairy tales and poems.

The gatherings struck a chord, particularly with middle-aged men — Mr. Bly’s book “Iron John” became a best-seller — and by the early 1990s there were thousands of such men’s workshops and retreats across the country, many complete with drumming, sweat lodges and shout-outs to the ancient ancestors.

“I don’t know what to say about James,” Mr. Bly said in an e-mail. “You could say, ‘James threw enormous parties for the spirits.’ ”

In 1997, at age 70, Mr. Hillman became a best-selling author himself when “The Soul’s Code” reached the New York Times list. He appeared on “Oprah.”

“He was in the tradition — or maybe the nontradition — of Alan Watts: a psychologist, thinker and lay philosopher who took concepts from a variety of sources and melded them into his own, particular idiosyncratic take,” said Wade E. Pickren, chairman of psychology at Pace University in New York and editor of the journal History of Psychology.

“I think psychology is prone to and also needs people like Hillman who think outside the box,” Professor Pickren said. “Sometimes he’s following his own idiosyncrasies, but sometimes his observations make us all pause and reconsider.”

James Hillman, the third of four children of Julian Hillman, a hotelier, and his wife, Madeleine, was born on April 12, 1926, in a room at one of his father’s properties, the Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City. His mother ran an accessory shop.

After high school, James attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for two years before joining the Navy’s Hospital Corps in 1944. He studied English literature in Paris at the Sorbonne and graduated with honors from Trinity College in Dublin with a degree in mental and moral science.

But it was when he moved to Zurich and enrolled at the C. G. Jung Institute, in 1953, that his imagination took flight. After 10 years as the director of studies there, he zigzagged between Europe and the United States, writing, giving lectures, editing a Jungian journal and, in 1978, landing at the University of Dallas as graduate dean. There he helped found the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

He wrote more than 20 books and was a sought-after speaker, often drawing a full house, delivering the Terry lectures at Yale and others at Harvard and Princeton, and appearing regularly in Switzerland, Italy and India, as well as at annual symposiums at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif., which houses his papers.

Once, early in his career, an editor rejected one of his manuscripts, saying it would “set psychology back 300 years,” according to Dick Russell, who is writing a two-volume biography, “The Life and Ideas of James Hillman,” due out next year. “He just loved hearing that,” Mr. Russell said, “because that’s exactly what he wanted to do.”

Mr. Hillman was married three times. Besides his wife, Ms. McLean-Hillman, an artist, he is survived by four children from his first marriage: Julia Hillman of Woodstock, Conn.; Carola Hillman of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Susanne Hillman of Zurich; and Laurence Hillman of St. Louis; as well as two sisters, Sue Becker and Sybil Pike, and a brother, Joel.

“Some people in desperation have turned to witchcraft, magic and occultism, to drugs and madness, anything to rekindle imagination and find a world ensouled,” Mr. Hillman wrote in 1976. “But these reactions are not enough. What is needed is a revisioning, a fundamental shift of perspective out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness.”


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Eris illustration

ESO / L. Calçada

Bulletin at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Eris and Pluto: Does Size Matter?

October 27, 2011 | It’s been nearly a year since the dwarf planet Eris passed directly in front of a star and, in doing so, gave observers the measurements they needed to deduce its diameter. It turns out that Eris and Pluto are almost exactly the same size — and yet different in many ways. > read more

Comet Elenin’s Last Gasp

October 25, 2011 | It was never going to be an “extinction-level” threat to Earth, but skygazers had hoped that Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1) would put on a decent show in October’s predawn skies. In the end, however, it just went “poof”. > read more

“Blue Stragglers” Renewed by Stealing

October 24, 2011 | Some deceptively youthful stars may find their fountains of youth in material they grab off other stars. > read more


S&T: Lauren Darby

Tour November’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

October 28, 2011 | With the return to Standard Time for North America and Europe, northern stargazers can catch some of the evening’s offerings before dinnertime. Venus and Jupiter are planetary bookends at sunset, with Venus lurking low in the western twilight just as the King of Planets rises in the east. > read more

Uranus and Neptune in 2011

May 31, 2011 | Uranus and Neptune are easy to find with the aid of the charts in this article. > read more

Ceres and Vesta in 2011

September 8, 2011 | The two brightest asteroids are in fine view for binoculars or a telescope. Here are instructions and charts to find them. > read more

Jupiter: Big, Bright, and Beautiful

September 23, 2011 | The “King of Planets,” which will dominate the evening sky from late 2011 through early 2012, is a captivating sight no matter how you look at it. > read more

Observe Mira, the Amazing Star

September 28, 2011 | The extraordinary variable star Mira is expected to peak in early October, 2011. > read more

Trusty Comet Garradd

September 1, 2011 | Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd is shining at 7th or maybe even 6th magnitude as it traverses southeastern Hercules. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

The arrangement in bright twilight

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

October 28, 2011 | Jupiter is at an unusually close opposition, as big as you’ll ever see it. Venus and Mercury show themselves together briefly after sunset. And Comet Garradd shines on. > read more


December 2011 S&T

December 2011 S&T

Sky & Telescope December 2011

October 26, 2011 | Sky & Telescope‘s December 2011 issue is now available to digital subscribers. > read more

Let the Star Parties Begin!

April 14, 2011 | Want to gaze at the Milky Way all night or peer into the eyepiece of a 12-inch telescope? Escape the city lights and head for the nearest big amateur nighttime gathering. > read more

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Today’s B-movie is that science fiction classic The Giant Claw.

Released June, 1957, and produced by Clover Productions (through Columbia Pictures), the film stars Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday. The film was directed by Fred F. Sears.

The film has been derided for its poor special effects and a monster that resembled a puppet/marionette. Jeff Morrow, along with Ms. Corday and the other actors, did not know what the monster looked like until they saw it in a film premiere. Story has it that Mr. Morrow saw a screening of the film, and every time the monster came on-screen, the audience laughed. He was so embarrassed that he sneaked out of the theater.

Seventeen million years old, from some God-forsaken anti-matter galaxy out in space, the giant Chicken/Vulture/Road Runner/Thanksgiving Turkey monster, that is bigger than a battleship, has come to wreak havoc, destruction, and humongous bird droppings on humankind.

There is panic from Broadway to Bombay!

Why did it come here?

What does it want?

Why is it wasting every human being it sees?

Hydrogen bombs, atom bombs. Nothing can stop it.

And it’s bigger than a battleship!

See the Giant Claw lay waste to the Empire State Building and the United Nations Building.

See it terrorize and savage a cast of defenseless thousands.

Watch in horror as it picks up a locomotive as if it is a toy train…wait a minute…it is a toy train.

Scream in agony as the Giant Claw annihilates flying jets.

Run as horror darkens the sky and screen.

Will stalwart electronics engineer/pilot Mitch McAfee and mathematician Sally Caldwell be able to save the world?

Fear the Claw.

You have been warned.

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Okay, Tracey McMillan not Terry McMillan.

This is Tracey McMillan:

She is suffering from psychosis.

This is Terry MacMillan:

She is a well-known author.

 Just want to get that clear with those of you about to read the following article.

Akiba Solomon, of Colorlines, gave an excellent critique of an upcoming ABC/Dreamworks sitcom based on the Black woman-hating manifesto of Tracey McMillan. Ms. Solomon hits all the right notes in deconstructing this woman’s profaning the humanity of Black women. The article from Ms. Solomon is posted in its entirety. My comments are added in boldface.


ABC to Turn Tracy McMillan’s Single Ladies-Hating Manifesto Into Sitcom

Photo: istock

by Akiba Solomon 

Thursday, October 27 2011, 9:01 AM EST

I’m having heart palpitations. They could be due to the soil-black bodega coffee I just drank. Or maybe my blood pressure is on high because I just read that ABC is basing a sitcom on “Why You’re Not Married”, TV writer and author Tracy McMillan’s woman-bashing, click-bait manifesto published on Huffington Post this past winter. Billed as a “brutally honest look at love,” the DreamWorks-backed ensemble comedy will likely follow the release of McMillan’s elegantly titled second book, “Why You’re Not Married…Yet: How To Stop Acting Like a Bitch And Start Getting Hitched.”

When McMillan’s editorial first appeared on HuffPo back in February, I made a point to skip it. While I am a never-married woman in my mid 30s who sometimes yearns for a husband, I didn’t understand how a three-times divorced “Mad Men” writer could intuit anything about my romantic life. But after learning that a black woman piece had crossed over to TV, I figured I should check it out.

I regret that decision.

To start, McMillan, the daughter of a black pimp and a white prostitute who abandoned her as a child, believes that “the problem is not men, it’s you. Because the fact is—if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on it.”

After setting up heterosexual female singlehood as a problem, she offers the following helpful observations about unmarried women. I’ve excerpted them at length to deny the piece traffic and inserted some wise, warm Maya Angelou-worthy responses:

McMillan says: “You’re a Bitch.”

Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed…. And it’s scaring men off. The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian.

I say: Yawn. The idea that single women are inherently angry is as cutting-edge as “The Taming of the Shrew.” Also: I got your bitch.

[And most women want to marry someone who is nice to them. Many women desire a man who is patient, kind, considerate and a good listener. A man who does not talk down, talk against, nor talk at a woman as if she has no right to exist in this world. Many women want a man who treats them with respect, not contempt.]

McMillan says: “You’re Shallow.”

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now…. Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls.

I say: Nothing. Because Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson already covered this in a recent Guardian op-ed. Peterson’s piece addressed the “Why Black Women Cain’t Get a Man” cottage industry led by Steve Harvey and “Nightline,” but I think her points about desire, compatibility and timing are universal.

[There are women who want a man who has character. You will see his character in how he treats all women:  his mother, his sisters, his aunts, his daughters. How he treats other women not related to him, says a lot about him. How he treats a waitress who waits on him, how he treats the checker girl at the grocery. How he treats women of all races and ethnicities–goes a long way towards saying a great deal about his character.

“Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now…. ”

No. You will not have found “one by now”. There is no set in stone time limit on when a woman finds the right man for her. Some women are not ready to involve a man in their life when they are in their twenties; some women are ready for a man when they are older. I will echo Ms. Solomon—-it is about timing, compatibility, and desire–and those are universal.]

McMillan says: “You’re a Slut.”

Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of “Jersey Shore”—but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin—it doesn’t stay recreational for long. That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin—a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm—that will totally mess up your casual-sex game.

I say: Is it 1842? Do hot tubs, rooftops and sex outside of betrothal really make women “sluts”? And at the risk of splitting hairs, I have to point out that all sex doesn’t lead to orgasms and oxytocin wears off.

[Here we go, the old “Women who have sex are sluts.” So, if women are not to have sex, and are to remain chaste, then should that not hold as well for men? How can a woman be the only one doing wrong, but, the man who has sex with her is not wrong just as well?

“b) has an orgasm—that will totally mess up your casual-sex game.”

Orgasm for who? Certainly not the woman.

I agree with Ms. Solomon:  all sex does not lead to orgasms.

Unless you are a man.

There are various sexual positions (of which I need not point out to any adults reading my post). Many of those positions do not lead to orgasm for women.

Unless it is foreplay followed with oral sex—or the woman is on top, those would be the only two known ways that guarantee a woman an orgasm.]

McMillan says: “You’re a Liar.”

It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. You know if you tell him the truth—that you’re ready for marriage—he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun!… About 10 minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don’t tell him that. That’s your secret—just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends.

I say: You need more people. In my experience, men don’t stop calling because you’re ready for marriage and they’re not. Actually, I’ve found that most assume you want to marry them, even if you don’t. Know why they believe this? Because male-supremacist writing like McMillan’s promotes the idea that women are desperate, clueless, marriage-obsessed, casserole-baking sperm receptacles. In a backhanded way, it also reinforces the idea that men are childlike automatons who barely like women and only care about sex. Men should be offended.

[I agree with Ms. Solomon. A woman needs more people in her circle of relationships. Too many times women get married and it is as if their lives end. They had lives before they married, so goes the same for single women. Activities, hobbies, and surrounding herself with positive uplifting people gives a woman a fulfilling and productive life. Something which many Black women are already doing.

“You know if you tell him the truth—that you’re ready for marriage—he will stop calling.”

Hell, men can have sex with a woman and stop calling, and your point is what?

Many woman are not interested in marrying the first man who says “Hello” to them that morning. Some women simply want a companion to share life’s joys and sorrows with. That companion can be a good friend. Not many women can say they have a man as a good friend. (Or a woman as a good friend). But, just to make sure that everyone reading my words understands when I say friend, I mean friend, not acquaintances.

As for the myth that all women hunger for a man’s marriage proposal, it is insulting to men. It paints a picture of men as penis-obsessed robotas, who can think no farther than the next climax and hot meal.

McMillan says: “You’re Selfish.”

If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you…. Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt…. After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say—if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

I say: That’s original. No, really. I’ve never heard someone float adoptive motherhood as a cure for selfishness and a way to attract a husband. I’m also intrigued by the idea of motherhood-as-lie-detector. Because players don’t dog out single moms. Ever.

[What Ms. Solomon said. That truly is original. Since when have women with young children turned men on? News to me.

And this insane remark:

“Which is also to say—if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.”

All I can say is:  WTF?

Have a baby, and all the men will come running, eh?

So, Ms. Tracey McMillan, how do you explain women with children who do not have men in their lives—as in the so-called fathers of these children?

You also advocate child abuse, Tracey McMillan. To exhort women or men to have children just for the sake of a hot date or marriage is sickening beyond belief.]

McMillan says: “You’re Not Good Enough.”

Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job. Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives.

I say: Empowerment-asshole alert! After calling single women bitches, sluts, liars and shallow, throwing in “you are enough right this minute” rings quite false. It’s like slapping somebody upside the head with a tube sock full of nickels then giving her an aspirin for the pain.

[Any woman looking for a man in her life would be out of her mind not to want a man who can add substance to her life.

Steel sharpens steel.

A woman empowers herself when she surrounds herself with those who give her good values, information, honesty, loyalty, respect, support, trust, and share interests.

As for this:

“You are enough right this minute.”

Damn, woman. Women are not enough, too little, too much. Make up your damned mind.

No. No one is enough for this minute. Living is a growing and learning experience, right up until the day you die. No mature woman should accept what was alright for her as a child. As an adult, a grown woman has the right to expand and enlarge her life. Methinks you, Ms. Other McMillan have a very big problem with women empowering themselves.]

In closing: I’m looking forward to the forthcoming “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” movie starring Chris Brown more than the “Why You’re Not Married” show. I hope McMillan enjoys her 15 minutes.

[“Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”.


I don’t think so.

Too much garbage-in, garbage-out TV shows have turned too many in this nation into idiots.]

It will not surprise me when (not if) this hot mess of a show premieres and skyrockets in the ratings.

Some TV viewers in America hunger after the lowest common denominator, and sitcoms like this always do well in pouring forth the vomit that some Americans have looked forward to like a heroin junkie seeking their next fix.

(Article: SOURCE)

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Ohio Univ. Students to Classmates: ‘We’re a Culture, Not a Costume’

Controversy surrounding racist Halloween costumes have become a routine part of the holiday on college campuses. Jorge Rivas reports on a group of Ohio University students that decided to get in front of the problem this year—and they’re making a national sensation doing so.

Also: Urban Outfitters’ ‘Indian Chic’ Prompts Sadly Familiar Outrage

Occupy Oakland Faces a Troubled Police Dept.–and Historic Mayor

The city’s first Asian-American mayor ordered raids on Oakland’s Occupiers. Roberto Lovato reports from the scene, where questions swirled about race and power in the 21st century.

Walmart Can’t Lead Us Out of the Food Desert
Efforts to get affordable healthy foods into deprived communities are finally spreading around the country. Unfortunately, legislators have focused on courting corporate supermarkets rather than supporting local alternatives that would be truly healthy.

300 Colorado Homeowners Close Their Accounts at Wells Fargo
On Tuesday, 300 members of the Colorado Progressive Coalition divested from the state’s largest bank.

Counties Defy Feds, Vow Not to Detain Immigrants on ICE’s Behalf
Both Santa Clara County and Washington, D.C. are finding ways around the federal government’s Secure Communities deportation program.

Why Los Angeles Police Can’t Ticket Students on Their Way to School
Observers say that black and Latino students were ticketed most often. Now, advocates are searching for policies that actually work.

FBI Uses Maps to Track Muslims and Fight Fake Crime
Warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities continues, now with high-tech tools.

ICE Agent During Search: ‘The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls’
The ACLU alleges that ICE’s tactics are growing dirtier by the day.

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Hate charges stand in cross-burning trial


A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge let stand hate crime charges against four defendants accused of burning a cross outside of a black woman’s Arroyo Grande home.

Defense lawyers argued the hate crime allegations should be dropped because, in this case, the cross burning was symbolic speech. The cross was burned March 18 at the site where the father of one of the defendants was killed by a sheriff’s deputy 17 years before.

Jeremiah Hernandez, Jason Kahn, Sara Matheny, and William Soto face arson, conspiracy, and hate crime charges.

Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy rejected the defense motion, saying First Amendment protections didn’t apply in this case. The next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2.



Any time you burn anything on a person’s property, against their will or to harm and threaten that person or persons, that is arson, a felony under state law. Per California’s Penal Code, Chapter 1, Arson:

(a) “Structure” means any building, or commercial or public tent,
bridge, tunnel, or powerplant.
   (b) “Forest land” means any brush covered land, cut-over land,
forest, grasslands, or woods.
   (c) “Property” means real property or personal property, other
than a structure or forest land.
   (d) “Inhabited” means currently being used for dwelling purposes
whether occupied or not. “Inhabited structure” and “inhabited
property” do not include the real property on which an inhabited
structure or an inhabited property is located.
   (e) “Maliciously” imports a wish to vex, defraud, annoy, or injure
another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act, established
either by proof or presumption of law.
   (f) “Recklessly” means a person is aware of and consciously
disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her act
will set fire to, burn, or cause to burn a structure, forest land, or
property. The risk shall be of such nature and degree that disregard
thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct
that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who
creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of
voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect thereto.

451.  A person is guilty of arson when he or she willfully and
maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids,
counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or


As for the following:

“Defense lawyers argued the hate crime allegations should be dropped because, in this case, the cross burning was symbolic speech.”

It is symbolic, alright.

Cross burning anywhere on the property of a Black citizen is meant to invoke racist hate, no matter how the criminals try to spin it.

As for what the defendant’s attorneys tried to do in court, I would refer them to the following court case decision:

Virginia vs. Black, et. al.

-“High Court Upholds Cross Burning Ban

Cross burning has a long history in America, and there never has been, nor ever will be anything that will erase its vicious history of racial intimidation, domination, and hatred.

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