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The news media kept a few Cal State San Bernardino faculty busy this past week.
Mike Stull, director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship and the faculty adviser for the CSUSB chapter of Sigma Nu Tau chapter, an entrepreneurship honor society, was quoted in an article about the CEO and founder of Ontario, Calif.,-based Vantage LED Chris Ma being nominated to the honor society.
Ma’s nomination was based on his work with his company, which instituted an employee stock ownership plan. “We have always been impressed with Chris and his approach to running a prosperous company,” Stull said. “It is more than just growth and profit it is about doing things the right way and valuing the team of people that make it all happen. Chris is an outstanding example of an entrepreneur that is principled in his actions, maximizing the success of his firm and acting with integrity.”
The article appeared on the 14 News website, based in Evansville, Ind., and other online news sites nationwide. Published on May 31, 2017, the article can be found at “Chris Ma, CEO of Vantage LED, inducted into Sigma Nu Tau entrepreneurship honor society at CSUSB.”
The start of a new month also meant that CSUSB’s Institute for Applied Research posted its Purchasing Managers Index report, which had an upbeat tone, The Press-Enterprise reported.
“Purchasing Managers were incredibly optimistic about the state of the economy for the next quarter. Over half (57 percent) forecasted a strengthening economy,” Barbara Sirotnik, the institute’s project coordinator, said in an email. “This figure is up from last month’s 52 percent and is the second highest figure since the inception of the report in 1993.”
Sirotnik pointed to several components in the survey as being especially positive. Production registered 65.9, well up from April’s 58.0. New orders increased sharply from April’s 60.0 to 67.1 in May. The employment index, 52 in April, came in at 59.8 for May.
“It is encouraging that 11 of the 41 companies surveyed added staff this past month,” she said.
Sirotnik said that between 2010 and 2015, the Inland economy showed “a great deal of volatility from month to month, but the overall trend was relative stability with only very slow growth.”
Now, she said, survey respondents are predicting continued expansion of the local manufacturing sector and overall economy. The potential downside, she added, could be caused by political instability, changes in tax, health insurance or trade policies, or budgetary snags at the state or federal level.
The article was published June 1, 2017, and can be read at “Orders are up, and Inland manufacturers are upbeat.”
The Sun reported that Susan Finsen, philosophy professor emerita from Cal State San Bernardino is listed as a guest presenter for Californians for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at this summer’s Critter Camp, sponsored by the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley. Critter Camp is a weeklong learning experience for students entering the second, third, fourth and fifth grades. The hands-on camp allows children to learn the importance of kindness and compassion.
The article, published June 1, 2017, can be read at “Critter Camp returns at Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley.”
Brian Levin, director of the university’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, continues to be a resource for news media reporting on hate and extremism.
The fatal stabbing of two men on a Portland, Ore., commuter train by a man who had targeted two teenage girls with hate-laced speech had reporters contacting Levin for his perspective. The two men, plus a third who was seriously injured, had come to the aid of the girls when they were attacked.
In an interview with Vice, published on May 30, 2017, Levin cautioned that that it’s important to keep in mind that the suspect seems to have been anchored in racial and religious prejudice and was probably a bit unstable or mentally ill.
Still, he points to the story of a Las Vegas couple who killed two cops and a Good Samaritan back in 2014 as a precedent for ideologically incoherent violence. Jerad and Amanda Miller were interested in conspiracy theories and known for dressing up as the Joker and Harley Quinn, and covered one of their victims with a Gadsden flag and a swastika. While they appeared to be anti-government extremists, their main motivation seems to have simply been sowing chaos.
“There was an anti-elitist slant that came from the Bernie side as well as the Trump side,” Levin says of the 2016 race in which Christian took plenty of interest. “One of the things they both were was anti-status-quo, anti-elitism, and anti-establishment structures. One of the things we’re seeing today is a lashing out against institutions and processes that folks regard as inauthentic whether it’s ‘fake news’ or trust in financial markets, and that’s where I think this emanates from.”
The article can be read at “Sometimes violent extremism has no ideology.”
Al Jazeera brought Levin on a three-person panel interviewed on the news network’s “Inside Story” program on hate crimes in the United States, which also focused on the Portland incident. The portion with panel discussion with Levin, former U.S. attorney Frederick Lawrence and author Harris Zafar, starts at about 4 minutes into the online video, “What is triggering hate crimes in the US?” which was posted on May 30, 2017.
Also on May 30, 2017, the Los Angeles Daily News editorial board wrote: “A hate-crime expert’s report to Los Angeles County officials on the reasons for a rise in political violence is something people should hear — even if they’d rather not.
“Nobody wants to be told that their side of the political divide is partly to blame for the dark turn in the climate of debate. We’d all like to think it’s the other side that takes things too far,” the newspaper said.
“So it’s informative to read the report by Professor Brian Levin of Cal State San Bernardino’s Department of Criminal Justice, and see that the political left and right are both responsible. … Neither political extreme can escape responsibility. That’s a hard lesson for many people to learn. Which is why it’s the message must be heard.”
The editorial, which also appeared in other Southern California News Group newspapers, may be read at “Blame goes left and right for hate crimes, political violence.”
The VOA website posted an article on June 1, 2017, examining the U.S. Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting hate crimes and civil rights cases under the Trump Administration, and included an interview with Levin. He said that historically, a change of administration has led to a change in law enforcement priorities, affecting the level of investigations, staffing and prosecution of civil rights cases carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We saw prosecutions decline under President [George W.] Bush and increase under President Obama, for example, although there is usually a lag in data, as some early cases in an administration that were prosecuted were actually opened under a previous administration,” Levin said.
The article can be read at “Justice officials: No pause in hate crime, civil rights prosecutions under Trump.”