Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

This has got to be the most idiotic study I’ve ever seen.
They’re trying to prove that VOIP is here to stay because they’re getting several thousand subscribers via telemarketing tactics.
I wonder how many of those people will be calling back once they figure out that the servers don’t stay up and running, and that the VOIP community suffers from the same irresponsible habbit of passing the buck a lot of other new-fangled geeks-turned-businessmen (otherwise known as .com losers) suffer from.
Right now, the thing going for the established phone companies is, despite their customer service issues, the service generally works, and if it doesn’t, you can bet they’ll be out to fix it.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I really hate it when people go through life either not knowing enough about themselves to determine what kind of person they are, or who spend their time criticising others for exhibiting the same traits they themselves exhibit.
So, in the interest of helping my fellow man put themselves on the right side of the injunction to “know thyself”, I’ve come up with this little guide.
This will help you to determine whether or not you’re a ho, the type of person that seems to be very much a part of our daily lives, yet for some reason has defied definition for way too long.
Ordinarily, I would be discussing this with John, but since some moron decided it could be construed as sexual harassment by someone who could find it offensive, that was pretty much tabled.
Thanks Mike for ruining all the fun, although we know you aren’t responsible for the idiocy.
And now, on with the list.

  • You rent out your bed space;
  • You have an ATM machine in your bedroom;
  • The first thing you say after sex is “next!”
  • You keep a menu above your bed which lists the sexual favors you offer, with pricing;
  • You’ve hired greeters to post themselves at your bedroom door;
  • Your welcome mat is placed at your bedroom door instead of your front door;
  • Your bedroom door is a turn-style
  • During a job interview, you ask if knee pads are part of the benefits package;
  • Your ankles have to write letters to each other in order to keep up to speed on everything that’s happened since they’ve been apart;
  • You’ve posted a “Now serving” sign on your bedroom door;
  • You’ve taught your children to ask “Are you my daddy,” every time you introduce them to a man;
  • You list whip cream, condoms and edible underwear as business expenses when filing your taxes;
  • you list every place you’ve “parked” as places of employment on your resume;
  • You refer to your sexual partners as “streams of income”;
  • You’ve hired an accountant to keep track of the number of sexual partners you’ve had;
  • You’d sit at work, but you find you’re more comfortable on your knees;
  • You’ve chosen a nickname that doubles as a term for a sexual favor;
  • You refer to your sex toy collection as “job resources”;
  • You refer to the Kama Sutra as a beginners’ manual;
  • You name your children after cars you wish you could “park” in.

Did i miss something?
If you think so, leave your suggestion in the comments.

As seen at Third World County, Gribbit’s Word, Stop The ACLU, Dianne’s Stuff, and Stuck On Stupid.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

March 28 (Bloomberg) — Republicans, who have profited politically from emphasizing faith and family values, are now finding those same issues dividing
the party.

Economic conservatives and secular Republicans complain their message is being drowned out by Christian conservatives preoccupied with banning abortion
and gay marriage and limiting stem-cell research.

On the other side, “values’’ advocates say they have provided the party with crucial support, particularly in 2004, when they mobilized religious conservatives
to go to the polls to help re-elect President George W. Bush.

Such concerns are turning long-simmering Republican tensions over the role of religious conservatives into an election-year split in a party already strained
by differences on the Iraq war, immigration and government spending.

“There is a great deal of concern about this seeming attempt to couch everything in religious terms,’’ said Christine Todd Whitman, the former governor
of New Jersey. “We’re not a narrow-minded nation, and at least some of the people trying to define the Republican Party are coming off that way.’’

If anything, religious conservatives deserve a greater Republican commitment to their agenda, said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family
Research Council.

“We had reason for people all across the country to be engaged at unprecedented levels,’’ said Perkins, whose group is organizing a “values voter’’ summit
in September. “It made a difference in states that were very closely divided.’’

Book Tour

Whitman, who was Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator from 2001 to 2003, has been traveling the country promoting her book, “It’s My Party
Too,’’ and has started a political action committee to give Republicans like herself a greater voice and elevate issues such as government spending and
health care.

Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said too much focus on abortion and gay marriage
may weaken Republican support in the Northeast and other regions where economic matters and other issues count more.

“When you rely on those kind of social issues it helps you some places, but there’s a cost to that,’’ Davis said.

Some of this year’s most hotly contested congressional races will be held in states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut, where some Republicans say a conservative
religious agenda may not play well with voters.

Losing Ground

“If you take a look at where the president’s numbers are weakest and where the party has lost the most ground, it’s in some of those areas where these
issues have been played up,’’ Davis said. Republicans took control of both chambers of Congress in 1994 because the party united behind the economic ideas
in its “Contract With America,’’ he said.

Davis’s concerns echo those of former Missouri Senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest who wrote in the New York Times last March that his party had
allowed a “shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives.’’

Those frustrations may reflect a shift in the party’s balance of power away from economic conservatives and advocates of limited government, said John Green,
a political scientist at the University of Akron in Ohio who studies the impact of religion on politics.

Shifting Numbers

“It may be that the Jack Danforths were more tolerant of the religious point of view when the libertarian view was dominant,’’ Green said.

Ten years ago, small-government Republicans outnumbered religious-values voters by as much as 20 to 25 percentage points, said Tony Fabrizio, a Republican
pollster. Now their numbers are almost equal, he said.

“The real schism of the party is not abortion or gay rights,’’ Fabrizio said. “It’s religiosity. It’s whether or not you believe God’s Law should be used
to set public policy.’’ Conflict between religious and self-described moderate Republicans will intensify ahead of the 2008 presidential election, Fabrizio
said.

The debate is already playing out in Ohio, where an amendment banning gay marriage united religious conservatives behind Bush in the 2004 presidential race.

Two Ohio pastors who campaigned for the amendment have been accused by a group of clergy of violating tax laws by promoting Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell,
one of two Republican gubernatorial candidates in the May primary election.

Political Advocacy

In a complaint filed with the Internal Revenue Service in January, the accusers said Russell Johnson of the Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster and
Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church in Columbus violated a provision of the tax code barring political advocacy by churches and other nonprofits. The
complaint cited several alleged instances in which the churches promoted Blackwell at religious events, in voter-registration drives and in educational
materials.

Johnson called the complaint “a form of harassment, and frivolous’’ in an interview. “Christians do not have to give up their citizenship just because
they go to church,’’ he said. Parsley, who declined to be interviewed, called the charges “baseless and without merit’’ in a statement issued in January,
and said his church had always complied with federal tax laws.

The IRS, in a report issued last month, said it was stepping up enforcement of the ban on political advocacy by tax-exempt groups amid what it called a
“dramatic’ increase in the amount of money such organizations are spending on political campaigns. For 2003-2004 it was more than $10 billion, more than
double the $4 billion spent in the previous presidential election cycle, according to the IRS. Of the more than 100 groups being investigated, 47 percent
are churches, the IRS said.

`Ground Zero’

Ohio is “ground zero’’ in a battle that will help determine how successful religious conservatives will be in organizing political campaigns through churches,
said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based advocacy group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

If the Ohio attempt succeeds, “there are going to be efforts to clone it in other states,’’ he said. Similar networks are already being assembled in Texas
and Pennsylvania, he said.

Amo Houghton, a former New York Republican congressman, says Republicans concerned about the influence of evangelicals should be more aggressive about speaking
out, particularly with Bush’s approval ratings at record lows. Houghton, who retired last year, opposed legislation in Congress that would have helped
legalize partisan activity by churches.

“Political campaigns are trying to identify and enlist friendly congregations to reach out to others and establish beachheads in the religious community,’’
Houghton said. “I don’t think that’s right.’’

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

Quite frankly, I’m at a loss as to why religion is even being brought into this debate, unless it’s just another way for those in favor of porous borders to try to use religion to win the right-wing and moderate vote.
Where does Hilary Clinton get off saying that the Good Samaritan and probably Jesus himself would be criminalized?
I can’t even apply company logic to that one.
The Good Samaritan, nor Jesus, crossed anyone’s borders illegally, nor did they fraudulently acquire government funds allocated for the poor of this country.
Where’s the connection?

by
James R. Edwards, Jr.
Posted Mar 28, 2006

Sen. Hillary Clinton has said House-passed immigration enforcement legislation “would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.”

Thus the New York senator made her contribution to a string of liberal Bible-babble: Democratic Chairman Howard Dean’s calling the Old Testament book of
Job his favorite New Testament book, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that many Democrats “do” politics according to the gospel of Matthew
(whatever that means), Pelosi’s charge that voting for the GOP budget was a “sin.”

Not exactly the way to round up traditional-values Christian votes, folks. A hint: It would help if you (1) actually believed the Christian Scripture is
God’s true and inerrant word, rather than manipulating it as a political prop; and (2) actually read the Bible and got to know the 66 books, the 150 Psalms,
the Ten Commandments, the four Gospels, etc.

Like Clinton’s gaffe, the U.S. Catholic hierarchy is engaging in this brand of bearing false witness. Roger Cardinal Mahony and his ilk have grossly mischaracterized
the same provision in H.R. 4437 that Clinton referenced. Mahony distorted the anti-human trafficking measure as “criminaliz[ing] even minor acts of mercy
like offering a meal or administering first aid.” That’s patently false. He then stated “the church supports” the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill.

In fact, the House measure would require someone both to know or willfully remain ignorant of someone’s immigration status, and to give assistance that
helps an illegal alien “remain in the United States.”

Beyond such lies and distortions about specific legislation, what is a biblical basis for Christians to approach immigration issues?

First, God ordains civil government. It’s his agent to protect innocent citizens under a specific jurisdiction’s authority. Jesus taught that people should
render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. Proverbs 24:21 instructs us to “Fear [honor] the Lord and the king. . . .” Romans 13 says, “For there is no
[civil] authority except from God. . . .”

It follows that government may legitimately decide immigration policies. Even the Catholic bishops, who work alongside Leftists like the American Civil
Liberties Union and the National Council of La Raza for open-borders policies, claim to agree that “sovereign nations have a right to control their borders.’

Oft-misquoted passages such as Exodus 22:21 (”Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.”) don’t inform or speak to how those
foreigners were admitted to the nation in the first place. Somebody has to decide who and on what conditions foreigners may enter a nation. That’s the
civil government’s job.

Second, some conduct may not be inherently evil, but is regulated to ensure order, fairness or safety. Moral implications attach to certain conduct because
it’s set in law. Circumventing that regulation is immoral.

For example, it’s not inherently evil to drive on the left side of the road. But because our law requires everyone to drive on the right, it isn’t only
illegal to drive on the left here — it’s also immoral, because it disrupts public order and disrespects law itself. That’s why breaking the law is considered
an offense against society.

Like the difference between a hike and trespassing, crossing the desert isn’t inherently wrong, but crossing an international border in the desert is an
immoral act — because it’s unlawful. The same holds for overstaying a visa, perpetrating a fraud for an immigration benefit and the like. To say otherwise
is wholesale rationalization.

What about desperate aliens just looking for a better life? Proverbs 6 teaches that the higher principle of law and order outweighs even the most desperate
circumstances. In that passage, someone who steals because he’s starving still must make restitution; he stole something that belonged to another.

So, why not just grant amnesty? The bishops and their cronies imply that a wave of the wand legalizes the 12 million illegal aliens. Presto change-o, the
law now says you’re all legal!

But amnesty abuses the rule of law. It rewards lawbreakers for their lawbreaking instead of holding them to the consequences set forth in the law they originally
broke. Proverbs 24:23-25 condemns such miscarriage of justice: “Whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent’” shows “partiality in judging.”

Isaiah 5:20 is even more direct: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” Willfully sneaking into another country isn’t an innocent act. It’s not
even a victimless crime. It reflects intentional sin.

In America, where Judeo-Christian principles inform the structure of our public institutions, mass immigration and legalization proposals seem contrary
to “the consent of the governed.” Hawking amnesty and profligate “guestworker” programs risks not only the economic well-being of our poorest fellow citizens,
but also shows favoritism to the wealthy — something both Old and New Testaments decry as sin.

It would be helpful to this debate if biblically ignorant politicians held their tongues and Big Religion sought honest biblical direction before staking
positions on policies that clearly fall within the realm of prudential judgment.

Mr. Edwards, coauthor of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, is an adjunct fellow with the Hudson Institute.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

It’s about time we start seeing some real crackdowns on this stuff.
Yesterday I had over one thousand attempted spam comments alone.
I know of people who have to deal with this on a much larger scale, and it’s
about time these people stop stealing bandwidth.
Furthermore, I think the people who purchase this kind of advertising should
also bear some responsibility, because if it weren’t for the fact that
people are actually buying the advertising, the problem wouldn’t be as acute
as it is now.
Then there are the people who actually buy into this stuff, and click, and
buy, and further perpetuate the problem.
They, however, are just really stupid, and as of yet there’s no way to
adequately punish stupidity.
I haven’t figured out how to drown people in the gene pool yet.

Jumpstart Technologies had offered free movie tickets for e-mail
addresses

The Associated Press

Updated: 6:04 p.m. ET March 24, 2006

URL: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11996880/

SAN FRANCISCO – An Internet marketing company that offered free movie
tickets in exchange for friends’ e-mail addresses agreed to pay a
$900,000
fine to settle charges it violated federal anti-spam laws, authorities
said
Friday.

Jumpstart Technologies LLC of San Francisco was accused by the Federal
Trade Commission of disguising commercial e-mail as personal messages
and
misleading consumers about the terms of its FreeFlixTix promotion, FTC
staff attorney Lisa Rosenthal said.

“This was a pretty cut and dry case of deception,” Rosenthal said.
“The law
enables consumers to block commercial e-mails if they want to, and
this was
subverting consumers’ ability to do that because it looked like it was
coming from friends.”

A call to Jumpstart’s defense lawyer was not immediately returned
Friday.

The civil settlement was filed March 22 in federal court in San
Francisco
and prohibits the company from further violations of anti-spam laws.
It
does not include an admission of guilt.

The complaint alleges that Jumpstart, which operates direct marketing
campaigns for advertising partners and collects marketing information
for
sale to third parties, sent mass e-mail promising tickets in exchange
for
the e-mail addresses of at least five friends.

The company then sent multiple e-mail to those friends with deceptive
subject lines and headers including personal greetings intended to
circumvent spam filters, according to the complaint.

Some people who wanted to join the promotion were asked to submit
credit
card information to an advertising partner, and others had to pay a
late
charge to cancel the offer, the complaint alleges.

The company was accused of violating a 2003 law that set strict
guidelines
for businesses that send commercial e-mail and set penalties for
spammers.

In the complaint, the FTC accused Jumpstart of sending commercial
e-mail
with false or misleading “from” lines, failing to clearly identify its
messages as advertising, and failing to clearly inform recipients that
they
could opt out of receiving more e-mail.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I’ve got a serious migraine.
I took three Excedrin earlier, probably around 4:00 or so, but it hasn’t helped.
I also went outside to get some air, because it’s nine hundred degrees in here, but that didn’t help either.
I hate it when things get like this.
Mr. Frodo came by earlier, and asked me to try logging in to the Portal interface, which I did, and have been doing, although he wouldn’t have known that.
It works.
I’m not sure what he wanted me to do that for, but we’ll see.
I got the information I was supposed to send, or rather, he was supposed to send, to the blind employee, (known from here on out as Ya’akov, just because continuously saying “blind employee” is too much to type, and I think a tad disrespectful, given that he’s really manifested concern over this situation and seems to be genuinely honest), and copied Mr. Frodo on that message this morning.
I didn’t see any need to reinvent the wheel.
Other than that, not much, but it is sort of some progress.
I like the fact it’s staying light for longer and longer.
I’m not a big fan of short days and long nights, especially when those nights are cold.
It’s supposed to warm up later this week.
I hope it stays that way, or at least most of the time.
I’m here an extra fifteen minutes tonight, so that means fifteen minutes of overtime.
I’m going to go home and do laundry, despite the headache.
It needs to be done, and it’s not going to do any good to put it off.
I have no idea what I’m doing for dinner.
I had a salad for lunch, so that’s most likely out.
Probably just a sandwitch.
I’m not feeling like a full meal.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

This is why people like this shouldn’t be entrusted with the spiritual future of the Jewish people.
When you read this, replace the word rabbi with mullah, and you’ll see what I mean.
If Muslims were issuing edicts like this, they’d be called fanatics, and rightly so.
Does he really think it’s so difficult for people to refrain from committing idolatry that he needs to ensure that they don’t by fencing the Torah in until it becomes something to be gazed at, but never interacted with, like some museum piece in a glass case?
Hat-tip Shmarya.

Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

Candidates cite data ‘offshoring’
By Bill Cotterell
DEMOCRAT POLITICAL EDITOR

As two major Democratic candidates called for cancellation of his biggest privatization project, Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday he’s “really disappointed” that
an unknown amount of state personnel information wound up in India.

The Florida Democratic Party accused Attorney General Charlie Crist of winking at the controversy involving Convergys, the multinational automation giant
holding the state’s People First contract. The company has given the state Republican Party $37,000 since 2002, and one of its top lobbyists, Brian Ballard,
is a senior campaign adviser in Crist’s race for governor.

Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Senate Minority Leader Les Miller, D-Tampa, called on Bush and the Department of Management Services
to cancel the nine-year, $350 million contract with Convergys. Management Services Secretary Tom Lewis told legislative committees last week he wouldn’t
do that, but the Democratic lawmakers said the India incident is the kind of “breach” that would justify pulling out.

“This is one privatization experiment that has blown up too many times,” said Miller, referring to the rocky three-year start of People First. The system
has been plagued by errors, employee complaints of long waits on telephone help lines and mistaken cancellation of employee insurance.

“Employees need to know this will never happen again,” Campbell said. “Can DMS and Convergys guarantee that one of these employees’ names won’t show up
on a foreign passport? That some foreign national won’t use it to gain illegal entry into the United States?”

It ‘needs to be canceled’

Campbell, a candidate for attorney general, said Crist should enforce civil fines against Convergys for “breach” of its contract. Miller, running for Congress
in the Tampa Bay area, said state employees have no way of knowing whether their sensitive information is “floating around” computer databases in foreign
countries.

“The contract needs to be canceled,” Miller said. “The attorney general needs to do his job, and Floridians need some assurances from this administration
that 350 million of their tax dollars haven’t been lost along with the identities that remain unaccounted for.”

DMS and Convergys last week admitted that some state personnel information had been processed in India for GDXdata, a former Convergys subcontractor in
Denver. Lewis said Convergys learned of the “offshoring” in August but didn’t tell him until February – which Convergys disputes – and the state is seeking
$5 million from the company.

Two former GDXdata employees filed suit in Leon County Circuit Court last year, alleging that their former employee cut computer-indexing costs by using
companies in India, Barbados and possibly China. The suit did not accuse Convergys of wrongdoing, and the company canceled its contract with GDXdata in
August.

Bush said it does not appear that actual identity theft resulted from the use of overseas computer companies.

“I think that we’re in pretty good shape there,” he said. “The investigation continues. I’m really disappointed that Convergys didn’t tell us or didn’t
know that one of its subcontractors was using employees (in) India.”

Campbell and Miller said Crist should enforce state contracting laws allowing him to impose civil fines on Convergys. The $5 million sought by DMS is not
a fine but would partly be used to compensate the state for costs of notifying employees.

Lewis told legislators last week that potentially 108,000 employees working for the state between January 2003 and July 2004 were affected.

GDXdata has denied violating its contract with Convergys.

The Florida Democratic Party, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that Convergys has donated $37,000 to the Republican Party of Florida. Party Chairman
Karen Thurman also noted that Ballard, the Convergys lobbyist, is a close adviser in Crist’s run for governor.

“As the state’s top attorney, Charlie Crist is supposed to fight crime and serve as an advocate for the people,” Thurman said. “Regardless of his motives,
Charlie Crist’s failure to act on the potential widespread identity theft of 100,000 state employees is a terrible offense for an attorney general.”

Crist said his office is monitoring the situation. He shrugged off the criticism as partisan flak.

“I would encourage them to stay tuned and not be too judgmental too soon,” Crist said. “We’re in a political season, apparently, and those kinds of statements,
I guess, are the kind that people make, but there’s nothing to them.”