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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Backgrounder On White Supremacist Kansas Jewish Community Shooter Frazier Glenn Miller

  The shooter arrested in the killing of three individuals outside the Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas is a white supremacist with a long history of promoting anti-Semitism and racism, according to a backgrounder released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The suspect, identified by police as Frazier Cross, but who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller (or simply Glenn Miller), is a white supremacist from southwest Missouri with a career in hatred and white supremacy that has spanned more than three decades.  In the early 1980s, Glenn Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S., but he eventually ran afoul of both the federal government and members of his own movement and has spent the last decade at the periphery of the white supremacist movement.
"The shooting at the Kansas Jewish community centers is a sad and tragic event which reminds us where the spread of anti-Semitism and racism can lead," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We recently issued a report which indicated that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States had fallen precipitously over the past few years.  So the statistics are good, and then you wake up in the morning and three people are dead because someone believed them to be Jews."
ADL has reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the United States urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown tonight.

Backgrounder: Frazier Glenn Miller

Originally from North Carolina, Frazier Glenn Miller began his career as a neo-Nazi in the mid-1970s, but soon switched to the Ku Klux Klan.  He was present at an infamous shooting of left-wing activists by white supremacists in Greensboro in 1979 that left five dead, but was never charged with a crime.

By 1980, Miller had formed his own Klan group, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (later changed to the White Patriot Party), a large regional Klan group that drew notoriety for its paramilitary training exercises.  Members of the group committed several hate crimes against African-Americans during the decade, while its second-in-command was convicted of a plot to purchase stolen weapons, ostensibly to target a civil rights organization.  During this period, Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S.

The activities of Miller and his group eventually led to a federal court order prohibiting its paramilitary training.  Rather than obey the order, Miller went underground with several followers in 1987 after issuing a "Declaration of War" that called for the "blood of our enemies [to] flood the streets."  Federal agents soon arrested Miller hiding out in the Ozarks in Missouri on charges related to his "Declaration" and explosives violations.  

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a hand grenade and received a five-year sentence. He also agreed to testify against other prominent white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988—this latter decision earned him the enmity of the majority of the white supremacist movement, which now considered him a traitor to the movement.

After getting out of prison in 1990, Miller moved to Iowa (later to Missouri) and became a truck driver.  Largely ostracized by white supremacists, he laid low until the end of the decade, when he self-published his autobiography (A White Man Speaks Out).  This marked a return to activism; by the early 2000s, Miller began purchasing advertising space in local newspapers in Missouri for racist and anti-Semitic screeds, followed by his own attempts to publish a "white-friendly" newspaper called The European-American
In 2004, Miller allied with fellow Missouri white supremacist Alex Linder to produce a more grandiose white supremacist newspaper that they dubbed The Aryan Alternative.  Only a couple of issues were published, but they were printed in large numbers, which were distributed by various white supremacists for years.  Miller also tried running for office, receiving only two votes in his 2010 attempt at a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Throughout the 2000s, Miller actively promoted his racist and anti-Semitic views online, but remained hampered by the hostility with which most of the white supremacist movement continued to view him.  In the years prior to the Overland Park attacks, Miller was a perennial but peripheral figure within the world of white supremacy.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. 

SOURCE Anti-Defamation League

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

CAIR Welcomes Cancellation of Anti-Muslim Event in Tenn. School

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said it has joined with concerned Muslims in Tennessee in welcoming cancellation of an anti-Muslim event scheduled for April 24 at a Knoxville high school.

TN: Approval Rescinded for Shari'a Law Event at Farragut High School
http://tinyurl.com/k3eneoq

A school official today told CAIR: "I am happy to announce that our Central Office has canceled the ACT event. Thank you for your concern and support." 

"We appreciate the prompt and appropriate response to concerns of Muslim parents and others that hosting this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

"We welcome the decision by the superintendent of Knox County Schools to help ensure that they remain a safe place for all students," said American Center for Outreach Director of Policy Remziya Suleyman.
In a letter sent yesterday to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds, Hooper wrote: 

"I wish to bring to your attention our concerns about a program scheduled for April 24 at Farragut High School in which two anti-Muslim speakers are to appear to discuss 'Shariah Law.'

"'Bill Warner' (Bill French) is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."
SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle  
"He will appear with Matt Bonner, the southeast regional director of the Crescent Project — a group whose mission is to 'reach Muslims with the Gospel of Christ.'
"Note the anti-Muslim bigotry they both expressed at a previous event.
SEE: Town Hall Meeting Warns Against 'Political Islam'   
 
"The April 24 event in your school is sponsored by ACT! for American, another anti-Muslim hate group.

"ACT! for America leader 'Brigitte Gabriel' claims that an American Muslim 'cannot be a loyal citizen' and that Islam is the 'real enemy.' She once told the Australian Jewish News: 'Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.' She also claimed that 'Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word. . .it's the vehicle for Islam. . .Islam is the problem.'
CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel'

"We believe this event will be viewed as having the endorsement of school officials and has the potential to promote bullying and to create a hostile learning environment for Muslim students. It may also serve to create a negative impression of Islam and Muslims in the minds of students of all faiths.

"We support the First Amendment right to free speech -- even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers -- but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting such an event. 

"I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program."
After receiving the letter, a representative of the school told CAIR that "Farragut High School does not support this event, nor do we share the presenters' views" and that a review of the "use of facilities" agreement was being reviewed by legal experts.

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations


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Friday, 11 April 2014

Ohioans To Stop Executions Applauds Death Penalty Task Force

The Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio's Death Penalty meets today to finalize its recommendations.  Concurrently, Ohioans to Stop Executions launched a new tool on its web page. This new tool will allow Ohioans to search, sort, and understand the more than 50 recommendations intended to help make Ohio's death penalty more fair. The OTSE/Task Force search tool may be used at www.OTSE.org
 
"Today the Task Force is completing its work by releasing a report with 56 recommendations that attempt to address the failures of Ohio's death penalty system," said Kevin Werner, executive director of the statewide anti-death penalty coalition. "I personally watched these recommendations evolve from meeting to meeting as the state's appointed experts decided how to solve the problems with the death penalty. Ultimately, we know that there's only one problem—the death penalty itself, which the Task Force was precluded from considering as a whole. Anyone who really looks at this issue tends to agree that the only way to fix the death penalty is to get rid of it. Until that day comes, Ohioans to Stop Executions will work to ensure that the reforms that will make the biggest impact are legislated. If we have to have a death penalty, let's make it a fairer one."



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Thursday, 10 April 2014

March of the Living 2014 to Commemorate Decimation of Hungarian Jewry

Janos Ader, President of Hungary, will speak in Auschwitz to a group of over 10,000 people from around the world at March of the Living on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Monday, April 28, 2014.
 
The March brings together a diverse group of students, young adults, survivors and liberators, for a week of intensive education that examines the roots of prejudice and hate while touring Holocaust sites in Poland.
This year's March marks the 70th anniversary of the destruction of Hungarian Jewry during the Holocaust. It is estimated that between one third and one half of the 1.1 million Jews murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau were Hungarian. 

Today, Hungary remains plagued by intolerance and is ranked among the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe

To commemorate the once thriving Hungarian community, hundreds of Jews from Budapest and around the world will gather in Hungary's capital to participate in a moving tribute on the Saturday night just prior to the March when they will travel to Auschwitz-Birkenau by train, mirroring the deportation of the over half-million Hungarian Jews.

They will then join the rest of the participants for the three-kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau where special tribute will be extended to the memory of Hungarian Jewry. 

Leonardo Farkas, a Chilean philanthropist of Hungarian descent, will address the participants, representing the legacy of Hungarian Jewry. He will be dedicating a new Torah scroll – its final words being written at Birkenau – in honor of those who perished.

Rabbi Elie Abadie of New York's Edmond J. Safra Synagogue, will speak about the Holocaust's impact on established Sephardic Jewish communities in France, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Greece, which almost disappeared.

This year's additional themes include:
  • Remembering the millions of other innocent human beings who perished in modern genocides, including the Rwandan Genocide
  • Honoring the Righteous among the Nations who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust
  • Highlighting Sephardic communities impacted by the Holocaust
  • A tribute to survivors who picked up the pieces of their shattered world
  • Honoring the creation of the State of Israel
The journey starts in Poland just prior to Yom HaShoah and continues in Israel where participants honor Israel's fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron—Israel's Memorial Day and celebrate Israel's Independence on Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

SOURCE The International March of the Living

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

NetChoice Names 2014's Worst Internet Laws

On Wednesday, NetChoice announced the 2014 Internet Advocates Watchlist of Ugly Laws (iAWFUL) list, a collection of legislation that has the potential to undermine key elements of Internet freedom and commerce.

This year's list is full of legislative efforts run amok. As legislators and regulators fall over themselves in a race to regulate Internet services, many are doing more harm than good. 

"Data breaches and privacy concerns have whipped elected officials into action, but as the 2014 iAWFUL list finds, elected officials are making things worse," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. "When consumers are harmed by misguided legislation it's time to sit up and take notice." 

Legislative proposals that would eliminate free services and require businesses to cry wolf over data breaches top the latest iAWFUL.

Eliminating Free Services
Internet users are accustomed to free and easy access to a wide variety of resources for everything from networking with friends, to booking travel to checking the weather.  Advertisers, who pay to show ads to interested audiences, support all of these services. 

Legislation introduced in California, Virginia and Missouri intended to protect consumer privacy would instead make it much harder for advertisers to pay for free online services and content.  If these proposals are enacted they will reduce the value of advertising for online marketers and ultimately reduce resources for free online services. With reduced funding, free services consumers take for granted today may shut down or require consumers to pay out of their own pocket. 

Requiring Businesses to Cry Wolf
Recent, high profile data breaches from large retailers have grabbed the attention of lawmakers.
"It is understandable that action should be taken to protect consumers from harm, but once again, rushed legislation may be more harmful than the status quo," said DelBianco.

State legislators in ten states are considering legislation that would force businesses to issue broad and rushed notices that will impede ongoing investigations.  Even worse, the increased quantity of notices will desensitize consumers to situations that truly merit an immediate response.

Deluging consumers with notices of a potential risk before there is meaningful action will derail the important conversations that must take place after a serious data breach. Furthermore, the discrepancies among each state's proposal will create a patchwork of conflicting rules that invites lawsuits and missteps.
The remainder of the iAWFUL list identifies a wide variety of misguided efforts including attempts to tax the Internet, limit innovation in education, and impose new taxes on online businesses everywhere.
The full iAWFUL list for Spring 2014 is available below and at www.iAWFUL.com
 
1. Making it harder to get advertisers to pay for free online services and content.  States are considering laws to restrict interest-based advertising that today supports free online services and content. This would drive websites into showing a higher volume of low quality ads to make up lost revenue. If this trend continues, expect to see more pay walls in front of previously free websites. 

2. Data breach notification - Following high profile hacking of data held by Target, states are rushing to pass new data breach notice laws.  However, forcing businesses to issue broad and rushed notices could impede investigations. Increasing the quantity of notices will also desensitize consumers to situations where a notice truly does merit their immediate attention.   Moreover, the divergence among state laws is creating an impossible patchwork for businesses that have customers in multiple states.  

3. Discouraging teens from thinking before they post - So-called 'eraser button' bills may actually encourage teens to be careless about posting inappropriate content because they mislead teens to think they can erase what others have posted too.   

4. Limiting innovation in education – Schools should focus on safety, security and educational innovation while protecting student privacy protection from actual threats.  But state legislation would make it harder for service providers to: identify students having difficulty learning; inform parents and teachers about bullying in school; and flag students that might pose harm to themselves or others.  

5. Internet Sales Tax - The ongoing threat of federal legislation would give new tax and audit powers to state tax collectors, threatening online businesses everywhere.

6. Requiring teens to get parental permission to use online services like maps and weather - Proposed bills would require parental consent before a seventeen-year old could use basic resources like Google Maps or Yahoo Weather.

7. Empowering courts over consumers - Allowing a court-appointed executor to counter your express wishes about how your online accounts are handled when you die does not respect consumer choice.

8. Scaring stores away from embracing pro-consumer mobile technologies.  Some state lawmakers want to mandate warning signs in stores that use new technology do analyze shopping habits and deliver discounts. These warning signs will alarm consumers and suppress adoption of new technology that helps stores send deals to returning customers -- even where the customer downloaded an app for that very purpose.  

9. New limits on First Amendment rights - New bills limiting digital photos of license plates would violate the first amendment and impair law enforcement investigations that save lives and solve crimes. 

10. Putting children's privacy at risk with email registries – Bills creating a do-not-email registry jeopardizes the privacy of minors while imposing new fees on markets and restaurants using email marketing.  

NetChoice is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes Internet innovation and fights threats to online commerce at state, federal and international level.   See www.netchoice.org.   The iAWFUL reflects the editorial views of the Executive Director of NetChoice and does not necessarily reflect the views of all NetChoice members.

SOURCE NetChoice

RELATED LINKS
http://www.netchoice.org
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