Friday, May 4, 2012

Plot To Blow Up Ohio Bridge Show Potential "Occupy Wallstreet" Link To Violence

Fox News--The 'Occupy' movement is scrambling to distance itself from five men charged with plotting to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, but authorities have long been concerned about the group's potential to inspire violence.

Aside from some vandalism and skirmishes with police, notably in Seattle and Oakland, the movement has largely stuck to its nonviolent approach. But the angry rhetoric of 'Occupy' leaders has long concerned authorities, and an internal Department of Homeland Security memo leaked earlier this year warned that fringe members could be driven to acts of terror, such as the thwarted plot to blow up a busy commuter bridge on May Day.

"I think most people involved with the Occupy Movement are innocent, but it creates an environment that encourages criminal behavior," said Rep. Peter King, (R-N.Y.), who heads the House Committee on Homeland Security. "What they [occupiers] do is create a climate for wackos to carry out their plans."

The case makes an internal Department of Homeland Security report released by WikiLeaks in October seem prophetic. The report, entitled "Special Coverage: Occupy Wall Street," warned that the movement's mantra of peaceful protest would not preclude acts of violence taken up in its name.

"The growing support for the OWS movement has expanded the protests’ impact and increased the potential for violence," said the report, released as part of a joint document dump by WikiLeaks and Rolling Stone. "While the peaceful nature of the protests has served so far to mitigate their impact, larger numbers and support from groups such as Anonymous substantially increase the risk for potential incidents and enhance the potential security risk to critical infrastructure."

According to the Occupy Threat Center, a database established by data analytics company ListenLogic to analyze social media posts for threats to corporations from those associated with the 'Occupy' movement, leaders have called for physical destruction of buildings and violent action, and associated "hacktivist" groups have targeted financial and law enforcement institutions. Speakers at rallies around the nation have called for an uprising similar to the French Revolution.

- Rep. Peter King, (R-N.Y.), Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security
Leaders and supporters of 'Occupy Cleveland' denied that the five suspects were part of the organization - but had to acknowledge that the suspects attended rallies.

“While the persons arrested Monday evening by the FBI have participated in Occupy Cleveland events, they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland. Occupy Cleveland has affirmed the principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011,” read a statement from the group's website

Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins, a Green Party member and 'Occupy' supporter said the five were known to 'Occupy' leaders.

Wife Sees Husband Stationed In Afghanistan Killed While On Skype Chat

The wife of a Beaumont Army Medical Center nurse who died May 1 in Afghanistan said the incident took place while she was talking with her husband through Skype's video chat.

Army officials have not released the cause of death for Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark, 43, of Spencerport, N.Y.

A statement from the family said they are waiting for results of a military investigation.

"Bruce's wife tragically witnessed her husband's death during one of their regular Skype video chats," the statement said.

"At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be," according to the family's statement.

"Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce's wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments."

Beaumont Army MedicalCenter officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

U.S. and Australian special operations soldiers in Afghanistan honored Clark this week, according to the statement.

Clark was assigned to A Company, Troop Command at Beaumont.

He deployed in March to support U.S. and coalition efforts in Afghanistan.

Clark's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Award, Mili tary Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Medal.

Clark had two children.
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Pro-Life Students First Amendment Rights Not Being Upheld At Western Kentucky University

One News Now--In a letter [PDF] to university officials, Travis Barham of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) complains that officials and the teacher of Elaina Smith, the art student who vandalized the crosses, were aware that this was going to occur, yet they did nothing to stop it. He points out that it is the duty of university officials to protect students' First Amendment rights, not "passively allow them to be violated."

"The university has really been disappointing in the way that it has condoned, slipped under the rug, ignored the defacing of these pro-life crosses," Barham laments.

Approximately 3,700 crosses were placed in an old football stadium by Hilltoppers for Life to represent the number of abortions performed daily in the United States. The art student draped the crosses with condoms in protest. Though the pro-lifers confronted her and asked her to stop, she refused, claiming she was completing an approved art assignment. Her teacher, Dr. Kristina Arnold, knew of Smith's proposed vandalism and did not disapprove. When campus security was called to the scene, they apparently did nothing to help.

While ADF asserts in its letter that it desires to "resolve this matter amicably," the firm is prepared to take "whatever action necessary" to ensure the protection of its clients' rights.

"We're asking the campus security officers to apologize for not intervening," Barham reports. "We're asking the professor to apologize for not stopping this ahead of time, when she knew that it was going to happen. We're asking that the student apologize, and we're asking that the university assure us that she will not receive credit for this act."

The university has refused the legal group's requests, so ADF is weighing a possible lawsuit.
Read More From One News Now

Lawyers Launch Legal Effort To Change Unconstitutional Polices In Over 160 Schools

With culture wars intensifying on university campuses across the nation, legal activists are doing more than defending—they are taking a proactive approach to defending First Amendment rights.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) on Thursday launched a new legal effort to change unconstitutional policies at more than 160 public universities and colleges by sending a first round of 40 letters to schools in 23 states. All of the schools have policies that violate the rights of students protected by the First Amendment.

“Public universities should encourage, not censor, the free exchange of ideas,” says Kevin Theriot, senior counsel at ADF. “The objective of this effort is to inform university and college officials of how their policies conflict with the Constitution, as reinforced by numerous federal court rulings, so that the schools can make changes. This gives them the opportunity to respect the constitutionally protected rights of their students without any costly litigation.”

The ADF has identified problematic policies including various speech codes and zones that place unconstitutional restrictions on student speech, policies that force student clubs to accept voting members and officers that don’t agree with the clubs’ beliefs, and policies that allow non-religious student groups to use student activity fees but exclude religious student groups even though the students in those groups have contributed to the fees.

The ADF reports that the letters have already received some response. For example, Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina has agreed to modify a policy that unconstitutionally limits student expression to a small wooded area on campus.
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Groupon Continues To Promote Pornography On Website Dispite Boycott

Two weeks ago Morality in Media (MIM) called public attention to Groupon’s shameless promotion of Kink, a San Francisco-based pornographer that produces films depicting sadomasochistic torture and rape, bondage, and hardcore fetish sexual acts.

Now, it appears that Groupon has doubled down on porn, supporting an event at the mansion of the world’s top sexual exploiter: Playboy.

MIM continues to urge Groupon to end its support of the sexual exploitation of women and girls, but despite a national boycott of the company that resulted in more than 10,000 of Groupon’s customers unsubscribing from the service the company has not done so. MIM thinks it knows why.

“Morality in Media searched Groupon’s online information to learn the names of the company’s female senior management executives so we could appeal to them,” says Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media. “Guess what? Groupon doesn’t have any! Perhaps that explains why the company is so insensitive to the sexual exploitation of women and girls.”

As Hawkins sees it, Playboy has done more to promote female sexual exploitation than any other entity in the world—and Kink takes such exploitation to a new, lower level.

“Kink, which offers live pornographic performances and porn videos, states on its site that, ‘Girls are … pulled in and out of cages, their tongues clamped, their bodies pinned, and their arms and legs strapped,’” Hawkins says. “They also claim to employ ‘contraptions used in countries such as China for torture’ as well as ‘machines, water, metal, wood, electrodes, hooks, needles and urination, all for the sexual persecution of women and ‘young teenage girls.’”

MIM reports that Groupon has defended its support of extreme, violent pornography, claiming that Kink is an “active, good member of their community.”

Texas Movie Theater Could Face Lawsuit For Refusing To Run Atheist Ad

A Texas movie theater has refused to run an ad by a local atheist organization, prompting some to consider a lawsuit against the business.

Angelika Film Center of Plano initially agreed to run an ad by Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, but on the day before it was scheduled to run, the movie theater's leaders changed their mind.

Zachary Moore, coordinator of the DFWCR, told The Christian Post that his organization first attempted to advertise with another theater, the Movie Tavern in Arlington.

"The Movie Tavern has claimed that they have a policy against religious advertising, but such a policy has not been provided to us," said Moore.

"Following the cancellation of our contract with the Movie Tavern, we sought out a similar contract with the Angelika and was successful."

Angelika Film Center of Plano, Texas did not return a request for comments by press time.

Angelika Theater representatives reportedly told the atheist group that it won't run the ad due to the theater's position that no religious ads be allowed at the business. Moore, however, disputes Angelika's reasoning.

"Angelika has not made any such policy available to us, nor was this mentioned during our contract negotiation," said Moore.

"The Angelika has even refused to provide us with a written notice of our contract cancellation. As with the Movie Tavern, we have received reports of regular religious advertising at the Angelika."

The incident has prompted some, including the American Humanist Association, to threaten a lawsuit against Angelika under the premise that the theater violated DFWCR's rights by not airing its ad.

Stewart Thomas, a Dallas area attorney interviewed by CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, considered the potential case to be "very interesting" but expressed doubt that DFWCR had a good legal argument.
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