Tuesday, July 29, 2003
The 'kosher Nazi' who would be king
It is the kind of story writers wish we could make up, but only the real world can readily produce. Silver Rights is a web log focusing on issues of or related to civil rights, so it belongs here. Those of you who have read material I've written other places know I am interested in almost anything to do with high tech, so of course a successful exploiter of the Internet would catch my eye. But, a person does not have to be interested in either of those fields to have had contact with Dave Hawke. If you have ever received a spam email offering to increase the size of your penis, you have probably heard from him. I know I have. Several times each week, I get such solicitations despite the unlikelihood of a woman suddenly developing a penis or 'needing' it enlarged. My junk mail filter never seems to catch on.
Perhaps, we should call him Dave Bridger. That is one of several names he has become known as a successful spam entrepreneur under. Salon currently features an expose of Hawke/Bridger's determined efforts to strike pay dirt through massive email campaigns.
According to a former Hawke associate, the neo-Nazi turned spammer boasts of earning "six figures" and often carries around a wad of hundred-dollar bills in his pocket, totaling thousands of dollars. (The former associate, when shown a photograph of Hawke, also confirmed that "Bridger" was Hawke, although at the time of their association, Hawke/Bridger was using the name Johnny Durango.)
Hawke has signed up scores of Pinacle sales affiliates, although only a few dozen may be active. The bottles of pills are sold for $50 to the end user, but Hawke pays his own supplier only five bucks, and he pays his affiliates another 10 for each sale made via their own spam campaigns. In the low-overhead spam business, that could mean relatively high profit margins.
Though he is only in his mid-twenties, Hawke has led a couple other lives that interest us just as much.
Legally, the man who goes by the name Bridger appears to be Davis Wolfgang Hawke, a former white-power activist who renounced his birth name, Andrew Britt Greenbaum, in 1996 at the age of 18. But in the late '90s Hawke also went by the moniker Bo Decker. At the time, he was head of the Knights of Freedom Nationalist Party, one of the fastest growing neo-Nazi groups in the United States, which he later renamed the American Nationalist Party while a student at Wofford College in South Carolina.
But he hasn't really used the names Decker or Hawke online for years. Those identities imploded in 1999, shortly after word got out that his father was a Jew from the Boston suburbs, and people started calling him a "kosher Nazi." The ANP and its leader crawled quietly under a rock.
It is not surprising that Hawke did not stay under that rock for long. He has long been a fellow with plans. Big plans. The kind of plans some of us disapprove of.
Indeed, at the age of eight, his plan was to attend Harvard, get a high-paying job, make a ton of money and, in his thirtieth or fortieth year, sink all his savings into the white-power movement, which, he says, has fascinated him since before memory. That was his first plan. A few years later, however, when he was fourteen, around the time he first read Mein Kampf, he decided that waiting until he was middle-aged was no good. So he would instead raise money by robbing banks. Several years after, he decided that robbing banks would probably only lead to jail or the grave; so, finally, he came up with his third and current plan: to go to college, get an education and become a politician, running first for state representative in South Carolina and ultimately for the presidency of the United States.
Once elected president, he plans to immediately push though an emergency-powers enabling bill that will never, ever be revoked and that will overnight allow him to become this country’s first dictator, thence to do as he wishes, sending blacks back to Africa, sterilizing the Jews, executing gays and so forth, all for the benefit of the white man.
Among the people Hawke would have sterilized is his own biological father, who he has disowned since graduating from high school because he is Jewish.
I don't believe Hawke has abandoned his racist, sexist (women should not be allowed to work outside the home) and anti-Semitic game plan. Instead, he has likely reversed his approach. Instead of becoming a leader in the contemporary white supremacy movement first and then becoming wealthy and influential, he hopes to achieve stature and then use that status to support his nefarious political plans. Each purchaser of any product he promotes via spam will unwittingly help him achieve that goal.
There is evidence Hawke perceived spam as his road to riches during his heyday in the neo-Nazi movement, when interviews by the Washington Post and broadcast television magazines were part of his schedule.
Spamming was apparently part of Hawke's career strategy even before he was laughed out of the American white-power movement.
In May 1999, as Hawke was redesigning the ANP Web site and retooling the party's platform, he also registered Knifed.com -- the future home of his first spam-vertised site, the American Knife Depot. Instead of his own name, Hawke listed his significant other and chief party secretary, Patricia Lingenfelter, as registrant, according to Internet records.
In early July, just weeks before a failed white-power march on Washington he helped organize, someone using the name Jon was spamming Internet message boards with bogus testimonials about Knifed.com's "totally reasonable" prices for knives and other weapons.
Dave Hawke is as much a threat to equality and diversity as Matthew Hale, David Duke or the blogosphere's own Gene Expression. What can we do to prevent him from achieving the economic and ideological goals he seeks? People who oppose Hawke because he is a spammer have taken the lead.
But anti-spammers have had some success in making Hawke's sites unreachable through another tactic. Because he typically uses bogus information in his domain registrations, Hawke is violating a requirement set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers that so-called domain "whois" data be valid.
DirecNIC, Hawke's preferred domain registrar, has placed many of his domains on hold in response to reports that the registrations contain false information, according to Sigmund Solares, CEO of Intercosmos Media Group, the New Orleans firm that operates DirecNIC.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the foremost watcher of hatemongers, maintains a file on him.
The rest of us can limit the scope of the former Andrew Britt Greenbaum's activities by exposing him for what he is regardless of what name he is using. Readers who consider themselves political independents or libertarians should keep an eye out for the man, who is very bright and extremely energetic, particularly. He has said that his next political efforts will be under the libertarian label.
posted by J. |
Monday, July 28, 2003
In the news
•Segregated high school to open in NYC
New York City has decided to open a high school for students professing alternative sexualities exclusively.
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City is creating the nation's first public high school for gays, bisexuals and transgender students.
The Harvey Milk High School will enroll about 100 students and open in a newly renovated building in the fall. It is named after San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor, who was assassinated in 1978.
"I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. "It lets them get an education without having to worry."
I am skeptical about the Harvey Milk School for the same reasons I am wary of segregation by gender and race. Segregation implies difference so significant that people cannot interact without harm. I don't believe that is true in regard to gays and straights, men and women or persons of different 'races.' It also implies that one group is better than another. In addition, there is no proof that students perform better academically or socially in segregated environments. Several large studies of female-only schools revealed no difference in educational achievement for girls despite expectations otherwise. Last, but not least, adults must live in non-segregated environments. They should learn to cope with diversity while children instead of being isolated.
Not surprisingly, wrong-headed advocates are behind this plan.
The school is an expansion of a two-classroom public school program that began in 1984. A gay-rights youth advocacy group, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, has managed and financed the program since its inception.
This idea should be reconsidered. Better enforcement of disciplinary rules is needed, not a new, segregated high school.
•Evidence does not support alleged lynching
An alleged lynching of a black man in rural Florida appears to be a false allegation. Though the community where the death occurred is racially divided, the man apparently committed suicide.
BELLE GLADE, Fla. (AP) - Relatives of a black man whose hanging divided this rural community learned at an inquest Monday that the noose was probably his grandmother's bed sheet and agreed that meant his death was likely a suicide and not a lynching.
Palm Beach Circuit Judge Harold Cohen convened the coroner's inquest into the May 28 death of Feraris ``Ray'' Golden to determine whether he committed suicide, as police said, or was lynched, as had been rumored.
Golden, 32, was found hanging from a tree outside his grandmother's house and relatives initially said it was impossible that he'd committed suicide, claiming he was found with his hands tied behind his back. Friends said Golden was dating a white policeman's daughter in the farming community of about 15,000.
I suspect the persons who claimed Golden's hands had been tied did so for reasons of their own, perhaps believing there was something, perhaps fame or money, to be gained by turning the tragedy into a cause celebre. They then backed down after the police presented evidence undermining their allegation.
However, I still believe a full investigation should be conducted. Doing so will prevent the man's death from becoming a lynching in the minds of people if not in the criminal justice system. The rumor should be put to rest for good.
•Brits make effort to close digital divide
Britain's digital divide is reminiscent of ours in the United States. Low-income and rural areas are much less likely to have internet access. However, social and political variations have made a difference. British Telecom has been more responsive to pressure to lower prices for access than its American counterparts would be.
Even broadband campaigners admit that BT has made a "reasonably good job" in recent months of increasing the number of local exchanges that have high-speed connections and lowering prices.
. . . But the onus is now falling squarely back onto the government to, quite literally, go that last mile. Affordable high-speed internet access remains a distant dream for most residents and businesses in rural Britain. Telcos can't be expected to bear all the costs of supplying access in areas where there is not enough critical mass to make it economically viable and even MPs have called on the government to provide subsidies.
Even if the American economy was not in doldrums, I don't believe many politicians, especially those in Congress, would consider it politically expedient to support federal funds for closing the digital divide. Though only a minority of Brtitish pols have backed such proposals, I doubt Americans will match their record.
posted by J. |