Miko Peled Shares His Journey from Staunch Zionist to Israel-Palestine Peace Activist Sunday

Miko Peled is interviewed about his views on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Though he lives in Coronado now, Miko Peled was born in Jerusalem and has a grandfather who signed Israel's Declaration of Independence. His father served as an Israeli general who later became a peace activist, a critic of Israel's territorial expansion and a supporter of dialogue with the PLO and a two-state solution. Junior followed in his father's peacemaking footsteps, as you'll learn if you catch him speaking in Laguna Beach on Sunday.

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Orange County Leads California In Anti-Islamic Hate Crime Complaints

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released its 2014 Civil Rights Report, and the results aren't exactly shocking: Orange County leads the state of California in the reporting of hate crime incidents during the past year.

CAIR has four offices in California: San Diego, the Greater Los Angeles Area (known as Anaheim to us locals), Santa Clara and Sacramento, and the organization cautions that increased numbers of complaints in those areas could relate to the proximity of CAIR offices.

That said, the Muslim-American civil rights organization took in 993 hate crime complaints and of those, 444, or nearly half of the total, were from Orange County.

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Protest of Norbertine Invasion of Silverado Canyon TOMORROW!

Joel Robinson
Doesn't look like much now, but...

The Norbertine fathers are making rapid progress on their new abbey along Silverado Canyon Road. For some canyon lovers, the end is nigh, but that won't stop others' efforts to halt the construction. A peaceful protest will be held at the new abbey development site Friday to make sure the fathers know that the community hasn't given up.

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Was TBN's Paul Crouch a Gun-Running, Money-Laundering, Mob-Loving Preacher Man? FBI Files Say "Maybe"

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Gracias, source!
Crouch: Flipping the bird all the way from hell

Any semi-sober journalist knows better than to drop a bombshell of a story on the week just before Labor Day, so it was surprising to see declassified FBI documents emerge last week on the late Trinity Broadcasting Network shyster Paul Crouch.

The documents showed that the feds investigated Crouch for suspicious messages he or his associates at TBN placed to a roll call of 1980s boogeymen: the PLO, the New York mob, the Italian mob, East German spies, even Hungarians. But wait, there's more!

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Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, Ex-OC Scientologist, Gets Judge Removed in Coerced-Abortion Suit

A woman who began doing volunteer work for the Church of Scientology in Orange County when she was age 6 or 7 got a judge removed Wednesday in her lawsuit against the institution that she alleges coerced her into having an abortion when she was 17.

The lawsuit first filed by Laura Ann DeCrescenzo in 2009 alleges the Church of Scientology engaged in human trafficking, obstructing justice, employment violations, discrimination and violation of privacy. It's being heard in the same Los Angeles Superior Court civil courthouse that DeCrescenzo claims to have picketed at age 7 with other church members out to prove the institution would "go to every length to bring down people who filed lawsuits" against the Church of Scientology. That's right, Marty McFly, she essentially protested against her future self.

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Peter David Nitschke Can't Come Up with $1.2 Million He Ripped Off, Gets 12 Year Prison Ride

Courtesy of Irvine Police Department
Peter David Nitschke kept things quiet at his latest hearing.
When we last checked in on Peter David Nitschke, the 47-year-old suspended Newport Beach attorney and former church president who stole more than $780,000 from nine victims--including $720,000 from two elderly sisters he met at church--the judge agreed to cut the defendant's prison sentence significantly if he paid those he ripped back their money plus interest ($1.2 million total) by last Friday.

Well, that day came and went.

Guess where Nitschke's headed? (If you answered "to Rosarito Beach for a waiting Coco Loco," guess again.)

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Rob Boston Pushes Religious Freedom Book and Philosophy in Irvine Saturday Afternoon

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Rob Boston argues religious freedom is an individual right.
The Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling notwithstanding, the religious freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment does not give organizations and businesses license to discriminate against and control others, argues an author speaking in Irvine Saturday afternoon.

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St. Michael's Abbey Begins Holtz Ranch Grading, Conservationists Scramble

Joel Robinson
They said God could move mountains
The drive down Silverado Canyon Rd. smells sweet of coastal sage scrub. It guides you through overhanging oaks, boulders blistering under the sun, and the occasional squirrel scurrying across the path, but the view of foothills whizzing past is abruptly interrupted by an assembly of motor graders and excavators. The St. Michael's Abbey is preparing to grade 38 acres on Holtz Ranch any minute now and conservationists are scrambling to stop it before the project completes.

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Cussing at Muslim Woman and Removal of Her Hijab Probed as Hate Crime in Long Beach

Courtesy of the Long Beach Police Department
Artist's sketch of man who removed woman's hijab.
Long Beach's police chief says a hate crime happened when a man cursed at and pulled the head covering--known as a hijab--off a Muslim woman in a shopping center.

The Anaheim-based greater Los Angeles area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is working with police to find the mystery man, calling on the public to out him.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. July 2 in a shopping center parking lot in the 4000 block of Atlantic Avenue, according to Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. As the 32-year-old woman loaded her car, the hater came up from behind and twisted and pulled off her black hijab, which he referred to by name while cussing her out. That indicates he's familiar with Muslim culture in McDonnell's eyes.

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Atheists, Skeptics and Freethinkers Protest Calvary Chapel Creation Conference TODAY!

Post moved up from Tuesday to remind that the protest is this evening.

Photo montage courtesy of NASA
Galaxies colliding would have been on, what, Wednesday?
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 22, 7:07 A.M.: Those converging on Santa Ana for the annual creation conference kicking off today can expect two straight days of uninterrupted bliss at Calvary Chapel. "Uh, but isn't this a four-day conference?" ask the faithful in the back pews. Indeed it is. But on the third day, God ... I mean ... Orange County skeptics will be out to protest "the dumbing-down of science through the promotion of the creationists' belief of a divine six-day creation."

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