Bakersfield Condors offering special partial ticket packages for 2018-19 season

The Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League are offering two special partial ticket packages for the 2018-19 regular season. One special package is a six pack and the other special package is a 20 ticket flex pack. 

In the six-pack, you can purchase six games for as low as $85. The games include opening night, the teddy bear toss game, Star Wars night and three other games of your choice. The 20 game ticket flex pack is 20 Condors games at the Rabobank Arena for $450. In the flex pack, you have your choice of what games you want to attend, and you save $130 off box office pricing. The dates for the teddy bear toss game, opening night and the Star Wars game are still to be determined. 

The Condors are also offering a special Father’s Day ticket special. If you purchase a six pack, you will receive a free Condors beach cooler. For more information about the Father’s Day ticket special, please call (661) 324-PUCK. 

There is no doubt that the Condors brand of hockey is extremely exciting and they are one of the more high-energy and uptempo franchises in the American Hockey League. For offseason news and information regarding the Bakersfield Condors, please click here. 

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SOUTH AFRICA – Israeli Special Forces Train White South African Farmers To Ward Off Violent Attacks

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Ireland: A special case of Palestine solidarity

Palestinian flags fly over Dublin City Hall, May 2017


In the face of Israel’s well-funded campaign against supporters of Palestine and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), Ireland remains a relatively comfortable base for conducting Palestine solidarity campaigns. In other countries pro-Palestine activists have been put under pressure and many universities have successfully silenced such activism by firing pro-Palestine professors (such as Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein) and canceling conferences about Palestine. By contrast, in Ireland, until the March 2017 conference in University College Cork where the university imposed severe limitations on the organizers, conferences on Palestine have gone ahead with the support of universities and university teachers unions (Teachers’ Union of Ireland and Irish Federation of University Teachers). Irish people clearly understand the implications of settler colonialism and Palestinians appreciate Irish people’s support.

This paper briefly charts the history of the relations between Ireland and the Palestine question. I then use the September 2017 conference ‘Freedom of speech and Higher Education: The case of the academic boycott of Israel’ held in Trinity College Dublin to highlight the extent of Zionist interference and concomitant university support. I conclude with a brief outline of the work of Academics for Palestine, of which I am the chair.

Ireland and the question of Palestine

Ronit Lentin


Around Christmas 2017, while visiting Irish peacekeeping troops in south Lebanon, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar criticised Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as a “misstep” and the “wrong long-term decision”. The Irish historian Diarmaid Ferriter writes that despite agreeing with the UN vote to condemn the U.S. action, the Taoiseach’s statement was not enough. Ferriter writes in The Irish Times that it is now time for Ireland to recognize Palestine in order not only to rectify historic injustice, but also to “provide the best means of ensuring the long-term peace and security of both Israel and Palestine.”

In “Ireland and the Palestine Question: 1948-2004,” historian Rory Miller documents Ireland’s relationship with Israel and Palestine. The pre-1948 Jewish underground forces in Palestine modeled themselves on the IRA’s anti-British struggle. While Yizhak Shamir’s nom de guerre was Michael, after Michael Collins, there was reciprocal sympathy in Ireland for the establishment of the Jewish state. According to Miller, Israel hoped for Ireland’s “intuitive understanding of the Jewish-Israeli predicament” and support for what it saw as its struggle for survival and security, and since the establishment of the Israeli embassy in 1993, Israel’s ambassadors emphasized the similarities between Ireland and Israel.

Miller argues there is no overt anti-Semitism in Ireland, but I wonder whether the fact that the Republic only allowed 60 Jewish refugees from Nazism to settle in Ireland between 1933 and 1946, a sorry chapter in Ireland’s refugee policies documented in Louis Lentin’s 1997 documentary No More Blooms, was due to Irish Catholic and state anti-Semitism.

That said, Ireland regarded Israel as an underdog under attack during the 1967 war, following which Ireland’s foreign minister Frank Aiken worked hard to get the UN to take into account Israeli concerns in its resolutions on the conflict, leading Israel’s foreign minister Abba Eban to call on other UN member states to follow the example of his ‘friend’ Aiken. But overall, Miller argues that the Irish refused to translate the kinship between the Irish and the Jews into political support for the Jewish state, as Ireland, and in particular the Republican movement, was increasingly supportive of Palestine. While critical of Irish parliamentarians’ unquestioning opposition to Israel’s human rights infringements and support for Palestine, Miller admits that “compared to those of other countries, the Irish government’s official statements about Israel are never extremely abusive.” He notes the influence of the Irish army participation in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon as a major source of conflict between Ireland and Israel, and the role of NGOs including Trocaire, Christian Aid and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign – the latter now one of the 20 NGOs banned from entering Israel and Palestine – in mobilizing support for Palestinians under occupation and siege and in promoting the BDS campaign. Miller also notes the high level of economic and research and development collaboration between Ireland and Israel, a focus of the Irish BDS campaign. Writing in 2005, Miller could not know how successful the academic boycott of Israeli universities would be. Academics for Palestine’s boycott pledge has now been signed by more than 220 academics working in Ireland.

Palestine and Irish universities

Contrary to the situation in the U.S., the UK and several European countries, and despite the high level of collaboration between Israel and Ireland in joint research and development projects, some of them in relation to security equipment and armament, Irish universities have been hospitable to pro-Palestine research and conferences until recently. I have run several conferences and seminars on Palestine, including “Palestine as state of exception: A Global Paradigm” at Trinity College in 2006, which resulted in the edited collection “Thinking Palestine.” Academics for Palestine have brought over several Palestinian and anti-Zionist Israeli speakers to Irish universities attracting substantial audiences. Until the 2017 conference “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism,” rescheduled after being cancelled by the University of Southampton and having to comply with several health and safety demands due to Zionist pressure, work on Palestine did not encounter opposition by Irish universities.

The pressure on the UCC conference organizers was the result of Israel investing heavily in its campaign against criticism and against BDS, a campaign that did not succeed in damaging the 2017 Trinity College conference, despite the attempt by the Israeli Association of University Heads to persuade the Trinity College provost to denounce the conference.

The demand for balance was the major way in which Zionist actors sought to derail the conference. The organizing committee decided in advance not to accept papers that argued pro- or anti-boycott positions as this was off-topic in a conference primarily discussing academic freedom, with particular reference to the neoliberal university and to academic precarity. Despite making this explicit in the call for papers, we inevitably got several anti-boycott abstracts as well as one pro-boycott one. The anti-boycott abstracts were clearly sub- standard and we found out later why they were so bad – they were sent at the last minute in response to a secret call by the Israeli Association of University Heads with the aim of packing the conference with anti-boycott papers.

It was testament to the relevance of this conference that the Israeli Association of University Heads chose to coordinate a political campaign to undermine and sabotage it. What followed demonstrated how the demand for balance is used to attack academic freedom. After the conference, the Israeli Association of University Heads wrote to the Trinity College Provost demanding that the university disassociate itself from the conference, which, they argued, was “unbalanced,” not only because we rejected these substandard and irrelevant papers, but also because, according to the Association, most speakers supported the international BDS campaign against Israel. We obviously had not conducted such a McCarthyist headcount, but it was unsurprising that there were not more speakers supporting Palestinian rights at such a conference than what the Israeli Association of University Heads found acceptable. The demand for “balance” in this context was an attempt to both prevent ideas from being discussed freely and prevent academics that Zionists disagreed with from gathering. As it happened, the Trinity provost – though refusing our demands to end the university’s collaboration with Israeli universities in research and development projects – refused to heed the absurd demands of the Israeli Association of University Heads.

Conclusion: Irish politics, Academics for Palestine, BDS and the academic boycott

Some six months before the conference, a talk by Israel’s ambassador to Ireland in Trinity College was cancelled after pro-Palestine student activists blocked the entrance to the hall where it was supposed to take place and sang anti-Israeli songs, an act criticized by both the university authorities and by the embassy of Israel. This is just one act of solidarity among many by pro-Palestine activists in Ireland, where the flag of Palestine had been hoisted over the Dublin City Hall and over several other municipal buildings.

This month, independent Senator Frances Black plans to re-table the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, which was frozen by Seanad Éireann in January 2018 due to Israeli pressure, though the Irish government vowed to revisit and possibly support it before the parliament’s summer break, if “there is no significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” The bill seeks to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories everywhere, deemed illegal under both international humanitarian law and domestic Irish law, and result in human rights violations on the ground. The legislation was prepared with the support of Trócaire, Christian-Aid and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and applies to the Israeli occupation and expansion of settlements in the Palestinian ‘West Bank’, which have been repeatedly condemned as illegal by the UN, EU, the International Court of Justice and the Irish Government.

Last week, Academics for Palestine – a group of academics working in Ireland and committed to supporting Palestinian academics and universities and to promoting the academic boycott of Israel – hosted a talk by Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, Palestine’s largest and oldest human rights organization, titled “The Great March of Return, Israel’s Assault on Gaza and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine.” Jabarin, who graduated from the Irish Centre of Human Rights (at the National University of Ireland Galway), where he completed the LL.M program in 2004-05, supported by a grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Irish Aid program, was in Ireland to support Senator Black’s proposed anti settlement products bill.

Academics for Palestine follows the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) guidelines. PACBI was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality by advocating a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions due to their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights that are stipulated in international law. Crucially the academic boycott is not aimed at boycotting individual Israeli academics, but rather academic institutions. To those who argue that among Israeli academics are many dissidents and critics of the state’s policies, we say that first, Israeli academic institutions are deeply implicated in the occupation of Palestine, in developing arms and security equipment, in providing special tuition programs for security and military personnel and in discriminating against Palestinian students and academics, and second, that most Israeli academics enjoy privileges denied to their Palestinian colleagues. Together with groups of Students for Justice for Palestine, we call upon Irish universities to end their collaboration with Israel in joint research and development projects. Like other civil society groups throughout Ireland, we aim to continue in Ireland’s proud record of having boycotted Apartheid South Africa, and through promoting the academic boycott, we call to attention Israel’s racial regime of segregation, siege and occupation.

Ronit Lentin is a retired associate professor of Sociology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Follow Ronit on Twitter at ronitlentin.

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Democrats Score Special Election Upset In Wisconsin District Trump Won Big

Wisconsin Democrats scored a major upset victory Tuesday night, winning a state Senate seat in a district that went for Donald Trump by double digits in 2016.

Caleb Frostman defeated state Rep. Andre Jacque (R) for the open seat in District 1 that was previously held by state Sen. Frank Lasee (R), who resigned to take a job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. Frostman will be on the ballot again in November for the regular election.

Republicans held on to a state Assembly seat in District 42 that also held a special election Tuesday.

Although Frostman’s term is short, his win is a huge victory for the Democratic Party. Not only was the seat held by a Republican, but Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton there by 17 points in the 2016 presidential election. Trump also won the state of Wisconsin overall. 

“Tonight is a good night for Wisconsin Democrats,” said state party chair Martha Laning. “We continued a winning streak by flipping a red seat blue and electing Caleb Frostman to the state Senate, a 21-point swing from Trump’s 2016 performance.”

Frostman’s win is especially sweet for Democrats because Walker tried to prevent Tuesday’s contests from taking place to begin with. Both the vacancies were created when Walker tapped the incumbents to join his administration in December. 

State law requires the governor to call special elections for vacancies that take place before May in an election year, but Walker had refused to do so. He planned to keep them vacant until the regular elections in November. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, sued Walker ― and won.

Walker reluctantly called these special elections in March, knowing full well that Democrats had a real shot at flipping the seats. 

In January, Democrat Patty Schachtner also had a surprise victory in a state Senate special election, succeeding in another district that had been held by Republicans and went to Trump by 17 points. At the time, Walker called the results a “wake-up call” for Republicans that there was a potential blue wave of Democratic wins coming in November. 

“Scott Walker and his Republican allies gerrymandered this district for their own partisan benefit,” said Holder on Tuesday night, “but the citizens of Wisconsin are clearly speaking out this year to demand a state government that better represents their values.”

Democrats have flipped 43 state legislative seats from red to blue since Trump became president. Republicans have flipped seven from blue to red. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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WATCH: School Cop Repeatedly Tasers Innocent Special Needs Child for Wanting to Go Outside


Katy, TX — The family of a special needs student at Mayde Creek High School has filed a lawsuit against the school district after disturbing video showed a Katy ISD police officer repeatedly taser their son until he defecated himself and threw up. His “crime”? Trying to walk outside.

The video, taken from Katy ISD officer Elvin Paley’s body camera shows 17-year-old Jevon Washington attempt to walk out of the school after he began to have some sort of panic attack while in class.

The incident happened in November of 2016 and the video is just now being released as Washington’s mother has come forward after she says no one is answering her questions.

“This was not necessary, it was excessive force,” Jevon’s mother, Lori Washington told ABC13.

On that November day, Washington who is in special education at the school, says he was merely trying to go outside to “blow off some steam, but a male school official blocked him, asking him over and over why he wanted to leave.”

As the video shows, Washington and the school official are peacefully talk and the special needs student is pleading with him to just let him get some air. After begin denied multiple times, Washington then tries to walk out the door, but that’s when all hell broke loose.

As Washington opens the door, the officer Paley holds him back and then tasers him without warning. After the initial taser strike, the officer yells at the teen using profanity saying, “Don’t you move God damn it!”

The school cop then holds the taser to the child’s head while using profanity once again, saying, “I did not want to tase you, but you don’t run shit here.”

After he had been repeatedly tasered, Washington says her son defecated himself. And, in the video, you can hear the teen throw up once he is on the ground.

“Big kid. I got tired of wrestling with him,” Paley said, before noting that the kid had not committed any crime.

“You have any charges on him?” asks a KISD Police supervisor.

“I don’t have any charges on him,” answers Paley.

“The use of force was never necessary here because if the officer had just left him alone all that would have happened was that a young man would have gone outside,” said legal analyst Chris Tritico to FOX 26.

Washington says her son has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old and that he has trouble communicating. She said she tried to ask Katy ISD officials why her son was tasered instead of the officers trying to de-escalate. However, she never received a response.

“They don’t have the adequate training to deal with this population. This kid has been traumatized. Yea, he’s on a second grade level, but he has fears, he has feelings like everyone else,” said Special Needs Advocate Louis Geigerman.

“It’s training, training, training. I think that this officer either didn’t use his training or didn’t have enough training. This guy has given Katy ISD a black eye that they did not need,” said Dr. Bob Sanborn of Children at Risk.

ABC 13 reached out to Katy ISD to inquire about their use of force policy and if this disturbing incident sparked an internal investigation. They did not comment on this case, nor did they release any information on their use of force policy.

Katy ISD released only the following statement:

“As is the case with many legal matters, the district is not in the position to comment on pending litigation. However, the safety of all of our students is our number one priority as we focus on creating environments conducive to learning and personal growth.”

Washington says she has repeatedly asked what happened in the classroom that made her son want to walk out of the door but she says they refuse to tell her.

“And I’m not saying that everybody in Katy ISD is bad people, I just say this situation was handled wrongly and I want it corrected because I don’t want to see any other child or parent go through what I went through,” she added.

“He has nightmares. Every so often you hear him hollering don’t tase me, or stop it. We have to wake him up out of his sleep,” said Washington.

If you’d like to peacefully voice your concern over officer Paley repeatedly tasering an innocent special needs child for trying to walk outside, you can do so at the Katy ISD police department’s Facebook page, here. 

School police officers tasering, beating, or otherwise assaulting students is an all too common practice. A quick scroll through our archives will show this ominous pattern abuse.

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Magic Men Live to make this summer extra hot with special 2018 tour

Summer is here and Magic Men Live! is geared up to make the season extra hot with a special 2018 tour at select venues across the country. The critically-acclaimed ladies-night-out live entertainment extravaganza kicked off its new wave of shows on June 1 at the Palace Theater in Louisville, KY, stopping at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich. on June 2, and Cincinnati, OH on June 3 before hitting a few more venues in June and several more in July. Tickets are on sale now for the full list of dates for ages 18 and over.

Magic Men Live! continues to thrill nationwide audiences with its dazzling troupe of hunky male dancers who deliver a sexy, interactive, unforgettable night of live entertainment a la Channing Tatum-led blockbuster “Magic Mike” film franchise which inspired the live tour. Magic Men Live! features spectacularly choreographed dance routines, infectious live music, comedy, audience participation and a light, electric atmosphere which all come together to create a magical and memorable evening. Catch a sneak peek of the tantalizing Magic Men Live! show in the video embedded above.

Magic Men Live! Summer 2018 Tour dates:

June 6 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
June 8 – Dubuque, IA – Five Flags Center
June 9 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
June 10 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
June 27 – Pittsburgh, PA – Byham Theater
June 28 – Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory
June 29 – Syracuse, NY – The OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater
June 30 – Portland, ME – Merrill Auditorium
July 1 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
July 5 – Bangor, ME – Cross Insurance Center
July 6 – Providence, RI – The Vets
July 7 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
July 8 – Westbury, NY – Theatre at Westbury
July 10 – Baltimore, MD – SoundStage
July 11 – Baltimore, MD – SoundStage
July 12 – Roanoke, VA – Jefferson Center
July 13 –  Norfolk, VA – Attucks Theater
July 14 – Richmond, VA – Greater Richmond Convention Center
July 15 – Philadelphia, PA – Keswick Theatre (Click here to purchase tickets)

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