Time’s gun violence cover

I worked at Time magazine as a reporter in the summers when I went to Cal. It was a great experience; some wonderful assignments, including a cover. Now Mark Benioff of Salesforce.com owns the publication. I wish Mark the best, facing the headwinds of social media! Time’s content (such as this cover) is still thought-provoking. The story behind this gun violence cover is here.

WaPo: Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes

“During an interview with CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ this past Sunday, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) lambasted President Trump for emboldening white nationalism after a young man killed at least 50 people at two New Zealand mosques,” The Washington Post is reporting. “Kaine was referring to Trump’s answer after a reporter asked whether he sees ‘today that white nationalism is a rising threat around the world?’ Trump responded, ‘I don’t really.’

“This is not the first time Trump has been accused of catering to white nationalists after a terrorist attack. At an August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, a young white man rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer. Afterward, Trump insisted that “there’s blame on both sides” for the violence.

“Then in October 2018, a gunman killed 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. When Trump announced plans to visit the synagogue, many people in Squirrel Hill, the city’s predominantly Jewish neighborhood, took to the streets demanding first that Trump renounce white nationalism before paying his respects to the victims.

“Trump has strongly rejected any charges that he’s to blame, tweeting Monday: The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!

Our research finds that Kaine could be correct, however: Trump’s rhetoric may encourage hate crimes, as we explain below.

Does Trump’s political rhetoric have a measurable link to reported hate crime and extremist activity?

“We examined this question, given that so many politicians and pundits accuse Trump of emboldening white nationalists. White nationalist leaders seem to agree, as leaders including Richard Spencer and David Duke have publicly supported Trump’s candidacy and presidency, even if they still criticize him for not going far enough. The New Zealand shooter even referred to Trump as a ‘renewed symbol of white identity.’

“So, do attitudes like these have real world consequences? Recent research on far-right groups suggests that they do, especially when these attitudes are embraced and encourage by peers. Specifically, the quantity of neo-Nazi and racist skinhead groups active in a state leads to increased reports of hate crimes within that state.

How we did our research

“Using the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism, Terrorism map data (HEAT map), we examined whether there was a correlation between the counties that hosted one of Trump’s 275 presidential campaign rallies in 2016 and increased incidents of hate crimes in subsequent months.

“To test this, we aggregated hate-crime incident data and Trump rally data to the county level and then used statistical tools to estimate a rally’s impact. We included controls for factors such as the county’s crime rates, its number of active hate groups, its minority populations, its percentage with college educations, its location in the country and the month when the rallies occurred.

“We found that counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally.

“Of course, our analysis cannot be certain it was Trump’s campaign rally rhetoric that caused people to commit more hate crimes in the host county. However, suggestions that this effect can be explained through a plethora of faux hate crimes are at best unrealistic. In fact, this charge is frequently used as a political tool to dismiss concerns about hate crimes. Research shows it is far more likely that hate crime statistics are considerably lower because of underreporting.

“Additionally, it is hard to discount a “Trump effect” when a considerable number of these reported hate crimes reference Trump. According to the ADL’s 2016 data, these incidents included vandalism, intimidation and assault.

“What’s more, according to the FBI’s Universal Crime report in 2017, reported hate crimes increased 17 percent over 2016. Recent researchalso shows that reading or hearing Trump’s statements of bias against particular groups makes people more likely to write offensive things about the groups he targets.”

Ayal Feinberg is a PhD candidate in political science at University of North Texas. 

Regina Branton is a professor of political science at the University of North Texas. 

Valerie Martinez-Ebers is a professor of political science and director of Latina/o and Mexican American Studies at the University of North Texas. 219 Comments

The rest of the article is here.

A visit to San Diego: sun, surf and science

Our son and his classmates at UC San Diego’s COSMOS program

SAN DIEGO — This area has long been one of our favorite and most visited destinations.

We have good memories of Carlsbad and Del Mar beach, the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Padres baseball games, and the iconic Del Mar racetrack (“Where the surf meets the turf.”). And good food at restaurants such as Jeffrey Strauss’ Pamplemousse Grille and La Jolla’s famed Marine Room. Some of our favorite haunts, such Bully’s North in Del Mar for Bloody Mary’s, have closed.

When I worked at The Chronicle in the ’80s, I often flew to San Diego for interviews with the management at Pacific Southwest Airlines (with its motto, “Catch our smile”). I wrote about PSA’s low “midnight” fares on the S.F. to L.A. shuttle, as well as its acquisition by USAir, which wiped the smile off the fuselage.

In the ’70s, a longtime resident who was a friend used to joke that San Diego’s nickname was “lobotomy land,” with a Beach Boys mindset, the “fun in the sun” scene, and even being home to Jack in the Box.

But that has changed: Awash in money, UC San Diego enjoys a “golden age” in research. “The $1.2 billion (in dollars raised for scientific research) keeps UC San Diego on the list of the nation’s top 10 research universities, and shows that the campus is continuing to inch ahead of older, better-known rivals, such as Harvard,” as the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Scripps is a world-class medical institution. San Diego is home to Qualcomm and some cool tech companies.

Science Summer School

This week we made a quick trip to San Diego to pick up our son from a four-week science program at UC San Diego — an “excellent adventure” for him. Transportation is a bargain for parents, thanks to air fare wars between Southwest, Alaska and others: Airfares are now $29 one way for fall, though our rates were a bit higher.

The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science [COSMOS]  is a popular and long-running program for high school juniors. Our son joined the cluster “Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine” at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.

We had lots of work to do this week but we brought it along and managed to squeeze in a visit to the racetrack one afternoon.

We won about $20 (we weren’t big spenders this week), and wound up sitting at a table next to Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux. It brought back good memories. A favorite was seeing Candy Ride, with rider Julie Krone, set a track record in 2003 to win the Pacific Classic States.

The closing ceremonies at COSMOS included a detailed presentation by the students of their work. For our son and his group it was “Determining if Implanted Chondrocyte Help Induce Cartilage Regeneration Using Cell Trackers.” These kids and their professors are serious people.

The students also enjoyed roasting marshmallows at a beach campfire, visiting the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. All told, our son had a wonderful time before he heads back to Ghidotti High for his senior year. A professor asked him to help with some research, and he’s excited about that.

We’re glad to be back together again, though, and we’ll reminisce about our summer of 2019. California has so much to offer. I’m glad to be a native.

Here are some retro memories of San Diego: Bing Crosby singing “Where the Surf meets the Turf” at Del Mar; Pacific Southwest Airline commercials, and Jack in the Box when burgers were just 18 cents.

Burning Man art at First Friday ArtWalk on August 2

Editor’s note: I received this press release from Reinette Senum:

THIS Friday, August 2, for the final First Friday Art Walk of 2019, Digital Dalang Indonesian Shadow Puppet Theater will be coming to Nevada City. The Bonanza parking lot along Bridge St. will be transformed into a magical outdoor amphitheater for the Art Walk. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to come witness a beautiful ancient Indonesian art form in the heart of downtown Nevada City.

 “Digital Dalang is a 25-foot wide Burning Man art installation that promotes cultural art & technology with an interactive Indonesian shadow puppet theater integrated with motion-reactive projected visuals,” stated project creator, Ali Agus Ardie.

Ardie will be hosting a Shadow Puppet-making Workshop onsite from 5-8pm. The Interactive Shadow Puppet Show will run from 8-10pm.

This is the first time Nevada City has hosted a Burning Man installation. The interactive art installation combines traditional Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry with motion reactive projection mapping. Burning Man’s late founder, Larry Harvey, handpicked Digital Dalang, to receive an Honoraria Art Grant and he shortlisted the project as one he was most excited to see.

At last year’s Burning Man Nevada City’s then Vice Mayor, Reinette Senum, attended the festival. It was while touring the playa at three in the morning that Senum came across this imaginative installation. Immediately she got excited about the possibility of bringing this interactive and family-friendly art form to her hometown and asked the team if they would be willing to transport and install the theater in Nevada City. She was surprised when without hesitation they said yes. For the last 11 months Senum and Ardie have been communicating, keeping the flame going, and have figured out the logistics to make this a reality.

A Big Thank You goes out to the generous sponsors for making this event possible; LAB Properties, Elevation 2477′, The Higher Commitment, The Nevada County Cannabis Alliance, Highest Health Collective, Bloomfield Co., The City of Nevada City, the First Friday Art Walk, and the Nevada County Arts Council. It could not have been done without them!

Bring the family, bring your neighbors, and the young at heart. Just look for the magical theater proscenium at the bottom of the Bonanza parking lot this Friday and that’s where you will find the magic!

For more information, contact Nevada City Mayor, Reinette Senum, reinettesenum@gmail.com