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

by Ms.Underestimated

This is not just an idea anymore…it’s a movement! The Fair Tax movement.

What else do you call an event about something as dull and boring as the U.S. Tax Code that draws almost 7,000 to a rally? About 4,500 people got inside the doors, which had to be closed due to the 50,000 square foot Gwinnett Convention Center being at capacity at SIX THIRTY P.M.! The rally didn’t start for another hour, yet another almost 3,000 had to be turned away. People drove from Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, and all over the southeast. Hindsight being 20/20, I’ve heard some of them express disappointment over radio because they only heard the broadcast en route to the rally, and at 6:30 they weren’t even in Georgia yet. They knew they had to turn around and go home, but every single one said that next time, they’ll come a day or two in advance! Some who were turned away simply went to their cars and “tail-gated” with fellow Fair Taxers so they could all listen to the rally as WSB Radio broadcast it live.

After all, who knew there would even be a thousand that would attend? Neal Boortz, the co-author of the Fair Tax Book, certainly didn’t think so himself. In fact, when Neal took the stage at about 8PM, the old curmudgeon was visibly moved. But that’s just where it all begins. Let me take you inside the event in my memory.

I left my office at 3PM, drove 35 miles through horrific Atlanta traffic, and was about the 1,500th person in line. You could feel the passion in the air as attendees clutched their books, displayed their buttons or signs, or signed petitions that were being passed around. We slowly made our way into the Convention Center, and it was packed already. The setup was fantastic, with huge screens dangling from the ceiling above just about every seating section, so everyone was guaranteed a good view of what was going on on the stage. Neal has some fantastic pictures at his site. Here’s a couple of them.

Fair Tax Line (Photos by Carrie Carden)

Fair Tax Inside

Here’s what the inside of the Convention Center looked like, and above is what a portion of the line looked like just to get inside. I am not even a SPECK at the end of this line!


These are just a few of the supporters waving their signs of support inside the center.

Once I got inside, I hunted down a t-shirt, but to no avail – sold out. I did get a signed book, well, two actually, and a “fairtax.org” stamp for money:

Fair Tax dollar

What the heck… I figure if I stamp all of my bills, at least ONE of them might prompt someone who knows nothing about HR25/S.25,HR5 to at least look at the bill they’ve just been given from the store clerk, go “what’s fair tax?” and then go to the internet to read about it. Oh, well… back to the rally…

Neal & IRS LogoNeal was first up, and spoke to a rousing applause. He told us of how awed he was by the turn-out, and that it spoke volumes to him of just what this had become. He was actually surprised because he thought people wouldn’t come because it was the night of the American Idol finale (oh, please!). He also let us know that not only did the Gwinnett Convention Center DONATE the facility and time, but the stage, lighting, sound equipment, video screens, etc., were also all donated for the cause!

Neal spoke about the Fair Tax, then introduced Congressman John Linder. They both engaged the audience in rapt attention, raucous applause, and cat-calls when the IRS was mentioned. Then, as we’d been promised, Congressman Linder came bearing good news. In the past week, Hastert’s office had been in contact with Linder’s office, and Hastert has set aside a one-hour block of face-to-face time for Congressman Linder to discuss the Fair Tax (HR25) with President Bush! That eclipsed the other good news we would receive by video from Sen. Saxby Chambliss later on, that finally Sen. Johnny Isaakson has signed on to co-sponsor the bill with Sen. Chambliss!

Then Sean joined the fray. Sean came prepared with written questions he’d gotten from his listeners that day as he broadcast from Neal’s studio at WSB Radio. Sean proposed the questions to both Congressman Linder & Neal, and you know that Neal brought the most howls with his wry sense of humor.

Sean Linder & Backdrop

As they talked up the Fair Tax, Congressman Linder reminded us that before the Revolutionary War, a clear 2/3 of the people didn’t want to have anything to do with a battle against the British Crown. But due to the hard work and persistent of a few determined people who yearned for their liberty, they fought all rationality and the majority who were okay with the status quo, and forged ahead to secure that very freedom that we have today. If it weren’t for those determined few, who knows what our America would be like today? Many thanks go to them.

Sean had to hurry off to do Hannity & Colmes from the Atlanta Fox affiliate, so he came in specifically to be with us for that 20-minute period of time. Sean really gets it. Next up, former senatorial candidate, Herman Cain.

Herman Cain

For those of you who’ve never been blessed enough to hear Herman Cain speak, you have no idea what you’re missing. I am really sorry he lost out that campaign to Johny Isaakson in GA, because Herman Cain is TRULY a dedicated REAGAN conservative Republican, and he is wholly behind the Fair Tax. In fact, he sits in for Neal on his show when Neal’s out. Neal’s affiliates will accept NO OTHER substitute except for Herman Cain. Otherwise, they prefer to just run a “best of” in Neal’s absence.

Herman regaled us with anecdotal stories about his grandfather, who was a poor Georgia dirt farmer. He remembered that going into town, his grandfather used to say to the kids “them that’s goin, get in the truck.. them that’s stayin, GET OUT OF THE WAY!” The audience went WILD! He reminded us that those who want to forge ahead and make change in the world should use that analogy in our lives if we want to affect change. He had the audience, at the appropriate times, shouting “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” A lot of people were yelling “AMEN, REV. CAIN!” I don’t know if he’s a reverend or not, but he definitely moves me. In fact, the gentleman next to me said “Lord, if he keeps this up, I’m gonna start speaking in tongues!” That was not only humorous, it was also true. Herman Cain is riveting. He didn’t stop there.

He continued stories about his grandfather, about when all the potatoes had been pulled from the ground and loaded on his truck, that all the kids would load in the truck with him. He said his grandfather didn’t take the smooth, already-dug grooves in the road. Herman CainRather, his grandfather drove over every bump, rock, rut, etc., and when they came to the market, he asked his grandfather, “why didn’t you just take the regular road instead of making the ride so rough?” He said it was then he noticed that back in the truck bed, all the big potatoes had risen to the top; and all of the little potatoes had settled at the bottom. Then he turned his attention directly forward, and forcefully shouted “.. and YOU people ARE THE BIG POTATOES!”

My God, I though it was the second coming! Would the roof stay on? Or would the trembling of the building turn out to be just be the response of the crowd? Either way, it was absolutely electrifying! And talk about feeling empowered.. WOW! I have goosebumps just remembering it as I write! He definitely had the crowd motivated, and that’s what made us feel so good. That we ARE the ones who want change, and are determined enough to see it through. There was also a tangible sense of camaraderie in the building, as if we have all just been reminded of our mission, and accepted the challenge.

John Stossel of ABC also came to speak for a few minutes, and he gave us this amazing tidbit: 1% of the people of this planet affect change; 9% of the people watch change being affected; and the other 90% wake up one day and say “what happened?” We ARE that One Percent!!!Neal & Stossel

I’m sick to death of those people who support the Fair Tax, but don’t participate in these events or even sign petitions because of their defeatist attitudes. “Oh, it’s a good idea, but it will never happen,” or “well, it won’t really work because of XYZ.” If our founding fathers had had that attitude, then… well, I don’t even want to ponder that lunacy.

If the patriots of the revolutionary war can do something as monumental as they did, then can’t this bunch of “potatoes” do even less? Let’s do it, everyone… let’s get rid of the IRS, and get the government out of our lives!

Folks, I’m here to tell you; after what I witnessed at the rally, I cannot and will not be defeatist about it. Everything good or bad that exists today in our country was brought about by grassroots movements. And if there’s one thing I learned last Wednesday, it is this: IT’S POSSIBLE!

The Fair Tax Book : Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS

Buy the book TODAY (click the above link). Heck, buy 2 or 5, and send them to friends! And many thanks to Ken Hoaglandthe Americans for Fair Taxation, who sponsored the event. Group President Ken Hoagland (right) also spoke to a roundly appreciative crowd.

If you have Comcast cable, you may be able to see video of this rally free from Comcast’s On-Demand service. Details are here.

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

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

Mike McGavick
has been running an insurgent campaign against incumbent Democratic Senator Maria
Cantwell. Bucking the trend against the GOP nationally, Mike has closed the gap
between his Democratic competitor to within 5 percentage points in the last Rasmussen
poll. Last November, he was trailing by 15 percentage points.

Mike is a solid conservative who understands the necessity of fighting the war on
terror and on regulating the flow of immigration at the border. There is a difference
between welcoming immigrants in an orderly way and having a wide-open border that
is open to exploitation by those who wish to harm the American way of life.

On health care, Mike realizes that the problem with health care is not that it is
run by insurance companies, but that there are too many middlemen that leave the
consumer out of the loop. Insurance companies are paid by companies who provide
benefits to their employees. Those companies want to keep costs low so they pick
one vendor and offer two plans to their employees: lower premium lower benefit plans
with vendor A, or higher benefit higher benefit plans with vendor A. The needs
of the consumer are only indirectly represented to the insurance company… if at
all. The hospitals and doctors are paid by the insurance companies. Hospitals
collect less than 30% of bills that are sent to consumers without insurance (or
after their insurance has paid only part). Hospitals will therefore cater to the
insurance companies that pay the bills. The solution is to put the consumer in
the driver seat when dealing with their healthcare, not remove them even farther
by having the government run the show.

Lastly, in an uncharacteristic position lately for a Republican, he’s for fiscal
conservativism. He knows that tax dollars isn’t monopoly money, but money to which
he is a steward, not an owner. We can count on him to support common-sense reforms
to the tax-and-spend habits that have plagued Congress lately.

Please consider taking a look at Mick
website and supporting his campaign.

This was a production of the Wictory Wednesday blogburst, a weekly posting
by bloggers supporting solid Republican candidates for office (national office or
governorship. If you are interesting in joining the Wictory Wednesday blogburst,
please take a look at this
or e-mail John Bambenek at jcb (dot) blog (at) gmail (dot) com.

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

Via the New York Times:

Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad was convicted of six more of the killings Tuesday after a trial in which he acted as his own attorney and the
prosecution’s star witness was his young protege and partner in crime, Lee Boyd Malvo.

Muhammad, 45, is already under a death sentence in Virginia for a killing there. The most he can get for the six Maryland slayings is life in prison without

The jury took slightly more than four hours to convict him after a four-week trial.

The trial marked the first time Malvo testified against the man prosecutors say was his mentor and manipulator.

Personally, I think the man should be publicly hanged.
I’ve never understood people who can scoff at the United States, and then take advantage of the many freedoms ensured by the culture they so abhore.
I wonder what would have happened to Muhammad if he had slain fellow Muslims in a Muslim society like Saudi Arabia?

O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except it be a trade by mutual consent, and kill not one another. Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you.
Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever.
Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.
… And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice.
(Qur’an, Iv. 29, 93; V. 23; Vi. 152, Pickthall interpretation).

Admittedly, this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject of murder within Islamic tradition, but it’s a good start.
Hopefully the criminal receives his just recompense soon.
If he doesn’t, he’ll receive it from God on Judgment Day.
Hat-tip Stop The ACLU.

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

This was delayed due to the observance of Memorial Day.

by Heidi at Euphoric Reality


The new immigration bill (the most “sweeping reform in 50 years”) S. 2611 is an amalgam of petty causes, illogical provisions, unstructured “solutions” with zero allowances for implementation, and self-contradictory language. Despite the mess, it was passed by self-righteous politicians who repeated the mantra “it’s better than doing nothing.” This from the same gaggle of do-nothings who outright rejected the House’s law enforcement bill.

The Senate bill has our President’s full support – this same bill is a derivative of one structured by Ted Kennedy and John McCain, and supported in full by the majority of Democrats. That alone ought to give one pause – President Bush, a Democrat?

Peggy Noonan says, “The disinterest in the White House and among congressional Republicans in establishing authority on America’s borders is so amazing–the people want it, the age of terror demands it–that great histories will be written about it.”

She opines that it is possible that…”the administration’s slow and ambivalent action is the result of being lost in some geopolitical-globalist abstract-athon that has left them puffed with the rightness of their superior knowledge, sure in their membership in a higher brotherhood, and looking down on the low concerns of normal Americans living in America.

I continue to believe the administration’s problem is not that the base lately doesn’t like it, but that the White House has decided it actually doesn’t like the base.”

S. 2611 is less about law, and more about a weird, mutant agenda that melds licentiousness with an utter disregard for the end result. There are quite a few details in S. 2611 that the media has ignored and that the legislators would rather you know nothing about. Some were provisions germane to the original Kennedy-McCain bill or the pseudo revision of Hagel-Martinez, the rest are amendments that required separate votes to accept or reject. Here’s what you need to know about the Senate’s fiasco.


The Senate failed to pass an amendment that would’ve made amnesty contingent on effectively securing the border. Their priorities are completely opposite those of the American people, who have repeatedly made it clear that our borders must be secured before anything else. Furthermore, buried in Arlen Specter’s manager’s package, an amendment proposed by Dodd makes it mandatory for our government to consult with Mexico before taking any security action along the border, to include building any barrier or any enforcement along the border. This includes everything from federal troops, and state-mobilized National Guard, down to local law enforcement. In other words, even if a county sheriff mobilizes a posse to guard the border, he must clear it first through Mexico. This effectively gives the Mexican government veto power over our national security concerns!

We’ve heard a lot about the 6,000 National Guard troops, assigned to help with back-up duties in order to free up Border Patrol agents. Unfortunately, that will make only 500 additional agents available to apprehend and detain lawbreakers at the border.

The White House adamantly insists that Guard troops take no role in law enforcement, even though, so long as they are under the command of their governors—as they will be under the president’s proposal—they are allowed to do so. Republicans worry that when the Guard shows up for duty, Lou Dobbs’ cameras won’t be far behind, recording their impotence as they merely alert border agents to the whereabouts of entering illegal immigrants whom they must passively watch.

“Merely alert border agents to the whereabouts of entering illegal immigrants?” Sound familiar? The National Guard will, at most, be performing Minutemen duties. But wait! I thought the Minutemen were “vigilantes”, Mr. President.

A tiny concession to border security was passed (Sessions, R-AL, amendment #3979) which allows for the increase of fencing and vehicle barriers along 370 miles of the southwest border of the United States. Unfortunately, existing hardware – including rancher’s broken cattle fences – would be counted towards this paltry total.

What’s most appalling is that a Democrat tried to push through an amendment (Leahy, D-VT, amendment #4117) that would revise the existing ban on granting refugee status to aliens who have provided “material support” to a terrorist organization! Fortunately, the motion was killed, but the fact that it was even considered and proposed is deeply troubling! Who can take these guys seriously?


Ted Kennedy passed an amendment (#4066) that makes it unnecessary for any illegal alien to have an employer attest that they are employed when petitioning for permanent legal residence, and “self-employment” is sufficient. Plenty of room for fraud and corruption there!

Now here’s where the whole argument for “cheap labor/doing jobs Americans won’t do” flies out the window. Barak Obama (D-IL, amendment no. 3971) passed an amendment that extends the Davis-Bacon Act’s “prevailing wage” levels to all temporary guest workers. That puts them ahead of American workers, who have this protection only on federal job sites:

So guest-workers (but not citizen workers) must be paid Davis-Bacon wage rates for jobs in the private sector if their occupation is covered by Davis-Bacon. Presumably because Senate Democrats’ union bosses thought this provision too modest, an amendment by Senator Barack Obama, approved by voice vote, extended Davis-Bacon wages rates to all private work performed by guest workers, even if their occupations are not covered by Davis-Bacon.

There goes their precious “cheap labor” – this provision will effectively price many guest workers out of the market. “Guest workers” will have legal status and visas that entitle them to real wages, overtime, deductions like unemployment and social security, and workers’ rights that legal workers now enjoy. Illegals will still be cheaper. Thus, twenty million illegals will be amnestied right out of the job market. Then what do we do with them when millions of new illegals flood into the country to take their place?

Now enter the litigation factor: foreign guest farm workers, admitted under the bill, cannot be “terminated from employment by any employer . . . except for just cause.” In contrast, American ag workers can be fired for any reason.


We’ve been assured time and again that newly amnestied “guest workers” will have to pay back taxes for the years that they lived here illegally – except that they really won’t. A loophole in the new bill provides that only two years of back taxes will need to be filed. I don’t know any American citizen that can just choose not to pay taxes for years! Additionally, the Senate has now provided for illegal aliens to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Our government will end up paying them!


Senator Ensign (R-NV) tried to remove the provision allowing illegal immigrants who receive legal status under the legislation to receive retro-active credit for Social Security benefits for time that they worked before receiving legal status. Arlen Specter killed it. The bill allows illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits for the years that they worked illegally, even if they paid into Social Security under a false number or using a stolen identity! As an American citizen, if I were caught stealing someone’s identity or forging documentation to avoid paying taxes, I’d go to jail. Not so illegal aliens! There are NO penalties for breaking those laws – only retro-active rewards. The longer they broke the law, the bigger the pay-off.


Senator McConnell (R-KY) sought to add to the bill a requirement that all voters in federal elections be required to present a valid photo identification.

“It is nonsense to suggest that somehow a photo ID for one of our most sacred rights should not be protected by a requirement that is increasingly routine in almost all daily activities in America today,” said the Kentucky lawmaker, second-ranking Republican.

But Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., likened the proposal to a poll tax or a requirement for voters to pass a literacy test. “Now is not the time and this is not the place to consider an amendment that may disenfranchise a million or more poor, minority, disabled, and elderly voters — all of them American citizens,” he said.

The proposal barely passed on a vote of 49-48, but unfortunately, it remains in limbo, evidently doomed by arcane rules now that the Senate has voted for cloture.

What the bill DOES provide for is a Bureau of the Census report to Congress on the impact of illegal immigration on the apportionment of Representatives in Congress. Of course, they need to count them – they are, after all, their newly bought electorate!


Here is a perfect of example of self-contradictory language within the bill itself. The bill supposedly protects American workers by ensuring that new immigrants will not take away jobs. However, the bill’s own definition of “United States Worker” includes temporary foreign guest workers, so the protection is meaningless.

Senator Kyl (R-AZ, amendment #3969) attempted to ensure that temporary workers stayed temporary by removing the bill’s provision allowing guest workers to apply for permanent residency. The Senator from his own state, McCain, killed the amendment.

Also, thanks to Senator Santorum (R-PA) the bill expands the visa waiver program (Immigration and Nationality Act, Sect 217) to numerous additional countries. At this point, why even bother with a visa? Waive it all!!


Senator Allard (R-CO), concerned by the incalculable administrative costs of implementing S. 2611, raised a point of order about the budget. Such a move is allowed under the Budget Act when the projected cost of legislation under consideration exceeds a certain level. If the point of order is upheld, the legislation cannot proceed. The Senate irresponsibly waived the protective rules under the Budget Act, rejecting the point of order 67-31. Apparently, no cost is too great.


Bush’s former chief economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey blows the whistle on the “end of the line” fiction being used to sell the Bush/Senate immigration reform:

At present, there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are waiting to immigrate legally to America. They have already waited in line to get their first appointment, then to submit the paperwork, then been called back to answer more questions. And still, they wait. In places like Hong Kong, the waiting time may be as long as 15 years. Most of these people have relatives–cousins or grandchildren, for example–who live and work and pay taxes in America and even have become American citizens.

While the process isn’t pretty, there is no good alternative. Permission to reside in America is very valuable….

Comprehensive immigration reform promises that people already in the United States illegally can apply for citizenship, but requires them to “go to the back of the line.” But a key question is, the back of which line? The reform bill before the Senate doesn’t require illegal immigrants to go back home–to, say, Hong Kong, to the end of the 10-to-15-year line there–to get a green card. Instead, it allows the current illegals to receive their green card immediately–having, in effect, jumped the line at the U.S. consulate abroad. Then, like other green card holders, they will be able to work here, collect government benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, and travel as freely as if they had a U.S. passport.

The line the current illegals will go to the back of is the citizenship line. Under the proposed law, current illegals, newly minted green card in hand, will have to wait six years, then get in line to apply for citizenship. But even after six years, they will be years ahead of many people who have gone through the legal process and are waiting overseas for a consular official to let them come here. Once those who have been playing by the rules all along get here, they too have to wait six years before getting in line for citizenship.

If we really mean “the back of the line,” that should be behind everyone who is already in the pipeline to come here legally.

Let’s be real: this bill allows those who come here illegally to gain a huge advantage over those who follow the rules. This, in effect, creates an irresistible incentive for others to ignore the rules and come here illegally. Fast track it by going illegal – there’s no reason not to!


Lindsey has further concerns about the utter non-viability of the Senate’s bill:

In 2004, the INS issued 946,000 green cards and naturalized 537,000 people. The proposed immigration reform anticipates giving green cards to up to 11 million people [likely closer to 20 million] in one fell swoop and making them eligible for citizenship six years later. It is inconceivable that the INS could handle an eleven-fold increase in its workload. Do we really intend to pass a bill that purports to document these 11 million people without setting up a system capable of providing them the promised documentation? If we don’t, everyone else who is already here legally but needs a visa update, or has adopted a foreign-born child, or wants his aging mother to join him in America, will get swamped by the tsunami of newly legalized people seeking documentation.

VDare concurs and says that the guest worker program is an administrative catastrophe in the making: “Already, there are backlogs of millions of applications with CIS [Citizenship and Immigration Services] for the various immigration benefits. If any guest worker program or amnesty is enacted, the sheer amount of work in processing, receiving and vetting applications and the assorted work that goes with them (interviewing, fraud investigations, verifying documentation) will without a doubt delay any application already pending—even if additional staff are added. This includes, of course, those innocents who bothered to apply to enter the U.S. the right way.” No wonder, legal immigrants are so upset with this whole thing!

I do not understand how the Senate has been so willfully blind to the will of the people and so determined to ignore the future costs of their folly:

The approved bill would send the U.S. population skyrocketing towards a billion people by the close of the century — with no analysis done of the impacts of this mass population explosion on housing, congestion, overcrowding, education, the environment and the overall quality of life. Local communities have not been consulted, and virtually no preparation has been undertaken to provide for the enormous burdens this legislation would entail. It reflects the degree to which the Senate is completely out of touch with the average American.

Nor does the bill take any serious steps that would improve immigration enforcement — especially in the interior. It merely continues a cycle of rewarding lawbreakers and clothing a loss of border control with the patina of legality. Rather than face the reality of today’s immigration crisis, the Senate has enacted a terrible bill that once again puts the interests of the American people last. The bill’s cost is staggering, the administrative burdens crushing and the consequences for the cohesion of the future American nation — no longer bound by a common destiny of the rule of law — are severe.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

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

Let’s see if I have this straight.
William Jefferson takes money as part of a bribe, then hides it in his freezer.
And then, when he’s investigated, he claims it’s because he’s black.
The FBI raided his congressional office, and found incriminating documents, but another congressman, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert runs to his defense, says the seizure was unconstitutional, and demands the documents be returned.
The Department of Justice claims that Hastert isn’t under investigation, issuing one of the tersest statements I’ve heard in a while.
ABC News says Hastert really is being investigated, and when the DOJ and Hastert deny the allegation, ABC sticks to the story.
The level of corruption here is simply mind-boggling.
And so is the level of stupidity.
Hiding money in the freezer?
I’m not sure whether to applaud the originality or go with my gut impression and call it the stupidest thing I think I’ve heard of someone doing in a long time.
This whole thing is totally bizarre.
I think that Hastart defending Jefferson creates a huge suspicion that he’s involved in some way.
But why is the DOJ saying he’s not under investigation and ABC saying he is.
ABC could be pulling a Dan Rather, but I don’t think the fall-out will be as it’s expected to.
Hastart has already come to Jefferson’s defense, so that paints him in a not-so-good light.
I tend to believe that this kind of corruption exists because we have leaders who feel that they are above the law.
They feel as though they’re entitled to something, and that’s a mindset we can’t afford.
They’ll run this country into the ground.
Hat-tip: La Shawn Barber

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

I’d like to wish everyone an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
I also hope that every one of us will take the time to reflect on the many sacrifices made on our behalf by those serving in the military and their families, and those who have paid the ultimate price, along with those who have survived them.
Our freedom is something that had to be battled over, and a lot of blood has been shed so that we as civillions can go about our lives in peace, and so that we can even go so far as to burn the flag in extreme cases without the fear of government reprisal.
So let’s all stop, if only for a moment, and offer a sincere thanks.
For those of you who make it a regular habit to pray, here are some devotions you might consider adapting for your own use.

Prayer For Our Country

God of our fathers, who gives salvation to nations and strength to
governments, bless and safeguard our country, the United States of
America, and the people who dwell therein.

May brotherly love ever be found among all the citizens of our land.
Implant in the hearts of all the people a steadfast purpose to work as
one for the safeguarding of freedom, justice, and peace.

Supreme King of Kings, protect and help our President. Shield him
against all sickness and injury. Grant to him and to all the
constituted officers of our government such wisdom and understanding
that they may lead our nation in justice and righteousness. In their
days and ours may Yehuda be saved and Yisrael dwell in safety.

(In time of war add:)

We beseech You, O God, to shield and protect our armed forces, in the
air, on sea, and on land. Bless them with victory. May it be Your will
that the dominion of tyranny and cruelty speedily be brought to an end
and the kingdom of righteousness be established on Earth with liberty
and freedom for all mankind. Amen.

Memorial Prayer For Fallen Servicemen

O God full of compassion, grant perfect rest beneath the cover of Your
Presence to all who have bravely laid down their lives for our
country. Shelter them among the holy and pure, who are as radiant as
the luminous firmament. O source of compassion, bring them ever near
to You that their souls be bound up in the bond of eternal life, as
are the souls of the righteous. And the work of righteousness shall be
peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and confidence
forever. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall
they learn war any more. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together. Amen.

I also suggest the following passage from the Book of Psalms:

  • 2
  • 43
  • 75
  • 78
  • 88
  • 143

I hope this weekend, and especially Memorial Day itself, is meaningful to everyone.
Lorie Byrd has a huge round of posts on Memorial Day, and so does Stop The ACLU.

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

From Lazer Brody

This is not an easy subject; I didn’t want to deal with this in public, but after having to advise a heartbroken Baal Tshuva in the USA what to do when
a blue-blooded Cheder Rebbe molested his beloved child, we can no longer remain quiet.
First of all, a child molester is the lowest form of villain. If he carries an appearance of being religious, such as a warped cheder rebbe, he’s lower
than low by causing chilul Hashem, a defamation of Hashem’s name, for which there is no atonement. The minute he lays a hand on a child – or on any other
human – he gets the judgment of “rodef”, literally “chaser” or attempted murderer. Any person has the right to kill a “rodef” on the spot. By molesting
a child, the villain is literally maming the child’s tender soul for life.

Unfortunately, as you say … many community leaders are not aggressive enough against this cancer. By not acting and protecting children from molesters,
those leaders are “standing on their blood”, a severe transgression of Torah. Here’s what we do over here, with iron-fist rabbinical approval:

The minute a molester (or potential molestor) is identified, he gets a “house call” by 2 or 3 good ol’ boys with long payis and very big biceps; they don’t
lay a finger on the villain, but put a good 10 pounds of fear in his heart and inform him that he must do the following: 1) Tshuva; 2) Resign immediately
from the cheder, and to never teach children again; 3) No severence pay; 4) To stay put, so he doesn’t move to another town and begin molesting children
there. 5) Pay damages to the injured party; 6) Mandatory counseling and emotional rehab. The villain then falls under close scrutiny, and if he even looks
at a child, somehow bad things begin happening to him. Such a system prevents Chilul Hashem and is usually adequate.

If however, the villain tries to hide behind his “meyuchas” relatives or weak rabbis, or fails to make tshuva, we turn him over to the police. Child molesters
in Israel get 18 years in the slammer. I used to be the Rav of a prison – I can tell you that the other inmates hate child molestors, and make their lives
unbearable. As such, the fear of a stint in an Israeli prison is also a deterrent. Yet, not long ago, one second offender that didn’t heed a rav’s warnings
was sent up the river for the full 18; he went to jail with a cast on his right arm, too.

Although the thing I love most is “Kiddush Hashem”, and the thing I hate most is “Chilul Hashem”, protecting the life of a child comes before Chilul Hashem
considerations. Hashem is willing to have His holy name erased to make peace between a husband and wife – all the more so to guard the life of a child.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that not all rabbis – especially in these times before Moshiach – are not exactly worthwhile. If your local rabbi doesn’t
come down like a ton of bricks on a child molestor – or seek the aid of others that will – don’t have faith in him.

Parents – look for the early warning signs! Don’t ever let your child stay after school alone with a teacher, and beware of a teacher that seeks to be alone
with a child. Teach your child about the sanctity of the body, and that no one is allowed to touch it.

Yes, this abomination is in the tradition of the Flood Generation. May Hashem wipe these villains from our midst.

May we merit to talk about happier subjects always, yours with blessings, Lazer Brody

I’m very glad to read pronouncements like this when it comes to horrors like the sexual abuse scandals that have erupted over the last few weeks.
Rav Lazer has not only refused to shrink from or apologize for anyone’s despicable behavior, he has called a spade a spade.
Rav Lazer, may you merit many blessings!

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

Mozilla’s CEO whines about why Firefox and Thunderbird are still not allowed to assume the top spot when it comes to enterprise technology.
It’s those pesky companies!
They make the IT elves use proprietary software, and it’s against their will!
Don’t you just hate technological rape?
I think it would behoove Mozilla to take another look.
For starters, it’s unfair to blame companies for using proprietary software.
Microsoft’s IE has been the standard browser for years, and, like it or not, the fact that it forgives web developers for not designing their software according to standards is something that has to be dealt with.
I’ll be the first one to call the company I work for and its clients onto the carpet for developing kloogy software.
But it would take a huge amount of time and money to get all the code up-to-standard, and I seriously doubt Mozilla is going to provide the support necessary to do that.
Next, there’s the security considerations.
I’ve heard Firefox proponents rave about how secure FF is.
But they don’t consider that the reason FF doesn’t have very many viruses taylored for it is because it’s not nearly as popular as IE is.
If FF or Thunderbird (Thunderbird is Mozilla’s email client) ever become that popular, you can bet that the viruses will abound.
Finally, there’s the issue of stability.
I managed to crash FF six times yesterday, and I’m using the latest version of FF, running on a P4, 2GHZ box, using Windows 2000 with Service Pack4.
And don’t say it’s because I’m running Windows.
Contrary to what the hard-core Linux devotees will tell you, Linux crashes too, and in some pretty major ways.
But regardless of whether or not Linux or FF will crash, it’s pointless for Mozilla’s CEO to argue that the reason for their uninvited status is due solely to businesses “foolishly” insisting on using proprietary software.
The Open-Source community is seen as a bunch of geeks who have nothing better to do than write code all day long, whether that reputation is deserved or not.
And proprietary software is yet another way for businesses to make money.
For instance, if Company A develops a customer management application, and company B wants that application, Company A can sell the application and turn a profit by requiring Company B to purchase a license.
Businesses would have to add an extra step by making sure that the software in question is going to work with FF, and that’s pretty much taking the accessibility issue and multiplying it exponentially, since FF requires code to be somewhere close to standard, and IE doesn’t.
All I have to do is look at how long the company I work for has been willing to stand for the client dragging their feet when it comes to making their software accessible to screenreader users in order to figure out how far that initiative would go.
The client has done everything but come out and say it’s too much trouble and would cost too much for them to comply.
And their software definitely doesn’t run under FF.
That’s something I suspect is true across much of the board.
Companies very rarely require their developers to make sure their code is up-to-scratch as far as the standards set by the W3C, (after all, expecting developers to maintain standards is like expecting your average employee to maintain gramatical standards).
They’d have to pour a huge amount of money into getting everything else they’re using up-to-scratch.
Mozilla can’t possibly think businesses are going to overhaul all their software without being paid a whole lot of money, and that would be akin to bribing the market.
The only other option Mozilla has is to let FF make its own mark by proving it can outshine IE on a very large scale.
And that will take a long time.
They might want to start with an advertising campaign.