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CSUSB’s Brian Levin testifies before U.S. Senate committee on domestic terrorism and extremism
U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
Aug. 5, 2021

Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was one of the experts who were invited to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs on Aug. 5. Titled, “Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Examining the Threat of Racially, Ethnically, Religiously, and Politically Motivated Attacks, Part II,” it was the second session the committee held this week on the topic.

In his opening statement, Levin said, “The extremist threat today, both domestically and internationally, is in a state of significant realignment across several fronts, and is also severe. As I have noted for several years, white supremacist and far right extremists continue to pose the most lethal terror threat facing the United States, they do so in an increasingly diversifying landscape that impacts not only these malefactors, but various emerging actors, across the entirety of the extremism spectrum.”

Joining Levin at the hearing were Elizabeth Neumann, former assistant secretary (2018-2020), counterterrorism and threat prevention, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute; and Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive office and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The video of the hearing can be viewed online at “Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremism: Examining the Threat of Racially, Ethnically, Religiously, and Politically Motivated Attacks, Part II.”

Levin’s opening statement can also be downloaded from the webpage.

CSUSB’s Cybersecurity Center prepares students for growing workforce 
Spectrum News 1 
Aug. 1, 2021

Cyberattacks are on the rise in the United States, targeting everything from fuel pipelines to meat suppliers and hospitals. In this week's "In Focus SoCal," host Tanya McRae’s segment on cybersecurity included a visit to Cal State San Bernardino’s Cybersecurity Center, which is teaching and producing the next generation of the cyber intelligence and security workforce. Tony Coulson, the director of the center, says government agencies and corporations are always asking for more graduates. 

"Nationwide, we have a 500,000 person deficit. We have negative unemployment in cybersecurity," Coulson said. 

Watch the video at “tProtecting consumer privacy as cyberattacks surge in the U.S.”

CSUSB professor interviewed about the Blue Zones Project and how it could help people lead healthier lives as they age

The Desert Sun

Eric Vogelsang, director of the Center on Aging at California State University, San Bernardino, was quoted in an article about the Blue Zones Project from which agencies in the Palm Springs area heard a presentation in May. According to its website, the project’s mission is “to empower everyone, everywhere to live longer, better,” using the world’s longest-lived cultures as examples. It works with more than 50 cites in the U.S., its website said.

Vogelsang there's no guarantee the Blue Zones Project will work in every city due to "unique health, political and historical challenges that impact individual health in those cities." However, he fully supports the project because "it bases its initiatives and suggestions on actual success stories — the original Blue Zones as well as other cities associated with the project."

"It also allows, for lack of a better word, 'an independent outsider,' (to) identify weaknesses in a city's culture and infrastructure," he added. "For example, it is obviously more difficult to bike in cities that do not have proper bike lanes; or play ball in a park if the local parks are outdated or are in disrepair."

Later in the article, he said that Palm Springs would be "an ideal city" to work with the Blue Zones project because it is a growing area and "has a unique opportunity to think about, plan and adjust its infrastructure."

Additionally, the combination of both wealthy residents as well as individuals struggling with poverty — around 17% of Palm Springs' population lives in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — he said possible changes that result from the project have the potential to improve everyone's health.

"Since Palm Springs is a retirement destination, I also believe this project could also help older adults age successfully,'" Vogelsang added.

Read the complete article at “Live to 100?: Palm Springs considering 'Blue Zone' partnership to promote longer lives.”

CSUSB biology professor co-authors paper, ‘Sexual signal conspicuity is correlated with tail autotomy in an anoline lizard’ 
Current Zoology 
July 30, 2021 

Breanna Putman, CSUSB assistant professor of biology, was one of the authors of recently published research in Current Zoology, “Sexual signal conspicuity is correlated with tail autotomy in an anoline lizard,” which, Putman tweeted, focused on how “flash male #anoles have a higher likelihood of tail loss! Standing out might lead to higher predation risk.” 

Read the paper at “Sexual signal conspicuity is correlated with tail autotomy in an anoline lizard.”

‘Rebranding’ of U.S. Capitol rioters as ‘political prisoners’ blurs line between mainstream and extreme, CSUSB professor says 
Aug. 2, 2021 

The idea that the January 6 rioters are being jailed for their political beliefs, and not the crimes they committed, is creeping into the mainstream GOP. Experts, including Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, say this shift in narrative marks a dangerous development that legitimizes conspiracy theories and could encourage future acts of political violence.  

“This rebranding effort blurs lines between the mainstream and extreme, and also legitimizes others who are sympathetic or considering acts of political violence,” said Levin. “The moniker ‘political prisoner’ is also further mainstreaming the idea that the government is illegitimate, and whitewashes the criminality that took place at the seat of our democracy.”  

While it’s not anything new for extremists to claim “political prisoner” status when they’re facing a crackdown by authorities, the rebranding campaign takes on new dimensions when it gets backing from elected officials.

Read the complete article at …

 “One of the unfortunate developments that we’re seeing today is the role that mainstream politics has in fomenting extremist rhetoric,” said Levin. “As a result, we get these swamp meets where both dilettantes and violent extremists drink from the same well.”

Read the complete article at “How the GOP is turning Capitol rioters into ‘political prisoners’.”

CSUSB professor discusses Iran leader’s comments that Western nations should not be trusted
Press TV 
July 29, 2021 

David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history, was interviewed for a segment about the outgoing administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meeting with Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who had some observations regarding his team, especially when it came to the multinational Iran nuclear deal, theJoint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. Khamenei said that Iran’s “domestic programs should in no way be tied to Western states under any circumstances due to the proven failure of such an approach.” 

Yaghoubian used Iran’s domestic missile program as an example. “Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iran’s regional role have nothing to do with the original JCPOA or United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231,” he said, referring to a UN resolution endorsing the JCPOA. “They are simply irrelevant. And so to the extent that the United States continues to attempt to utilize maximum pressure to bring in irrelevant issues such as ballistic missiles and Iran’s regional role, I believe that, very soon, we will reach this impasse, and that the (administration of Iran’s newly elected President Ebrahim Raisi) will bring an end to this charade in Vienna,” where talks on the JCPOA are taking place. 

Watch the segment at “Iran’s Leader: U.S. can’t be trusted.”

CSUSB professor writes on achieving a health balance in relationships 
Psychology Today 
Aug. 2, 2021

Anthony Silard, CSUSB associate professor of public administration, in the seventh installment of his series on “When You Want to Be Closer Than They Do,” on how showing how you care and want to invest in your friendships can bring more depth to those relations, to try being a good friend to others, and committing to making an effort for those who have made and effort toward you. 

Among his suggestions: “Make a commitment to do two things: First, appreciate your friends, family members, or intimate partner when they demonstrate their wish to be close to you; second, grant them the social distance they need when it is more than you desire. You will be pleasantly surprised at how your empathetic understanding and acceptance of their needs results in others wanting to be by your side more often and enables you to fill your life with the CMSRs you desire.”

Read the complete article at “When You Want to Be Closer Than They Do.”

These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”