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

An email came down the line today, saying that the DB_Interface and Jaws issues will be solved in version 9.5, (we’re in 9.3), and that this should happen by the end of March.
I’m not holding my breath, or rather, I shouldn’t hold my breath, but I can’t help but hope a little.
I really shouldn’t do this, because, so far, every time I have, I’ve been let down.
I’ve really got to perfect the jaded thing.
No reply to my invoice.
In fact, John mentioned it to the operations manager, and his response was basically “That’s nice,” if not in those exact words.
In other words, he’ll admit he messed up and submit for the pay discrepancy, but won’t take financial responsibility.
What a jerk.
I just hope I can manage to find a way to juggle everything so that my rent gets paid, and get through what is going to prove a very tight next two weeks.
God that sucks.

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

By Jeremy Rosen

The Lubavitcher ( Chabad) Rebbe was undeniably a great man. Many of his followers have done outstanding work around the globe. But sadly as with every large
organisation they have their crooks, their swindlers and their charlatans.

Amongst their failings is an exaggerated tendency to maximise miracles the Rebbe performed (while ignoring his limitations) and inventing myths.

For many years there has been a story circulating that my father who died in March 1962 was promised he would be cured by the Rebbe provided he did not
tell anyone, but he did and that’s why he died. These stories caused my late mother a great deal of distress. Her very different record of the events was
actually published in a Lubavitch book called ‘Challenge: An Encounter with Lubavitch Chabad’ and at one stage she even toyed with legal action.

The facts of the situation are that in the autumn of 1961 my father was diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of leukaemia and he needed regular blood
transfusions. The doctors described his condition as terminal. Initially he kept repeating that he was in the hands of God, not fallible human doctors.
As he deteriorated, his initial optimism began to wane.

He went to see the Rebbe in New York and was tremendously impressed. The Rebbe encouraged him to devote his remaining time to preparing himself to meet
his Maker. He suggested my father grow his beard full, wear a gartel when he prayed and study the Tanya daily. The visit certainly gave my father a lot
of spiritual comfort. When he returned he wrote many letters to friends and pupils telling them that he was nearing his end but facing it with confidence.
His health continued to deteriorate, of course, and in the winter he went to New York again for a final visit to the Rebbe. He kept very detailed notes
of both visits, so we have written evidence apart from what he told us from memory.

The Rebbe reassured him that he would live to dance at his daughter’s wedding (she was two at the time), and that Purim would be a time of turning sadness
into joy. One can argue whether this was honest or not. Let us assume he was just trying to give him courage or speaking mystically. But medically there
was no chance of recovery. He died less than two months later, a week before Purim.

Although I have never joined Chabad, when I was a rabbi in Glasgow I helped Chabad establish itself there. The Rebbe was instrumental in my returning to
Carmel as Headmaster, and I made several trips to New York to see the Rebbe and to get Chabad teachers to come to Carmel. But I was always a fellow traveller
rather than a believer.

Recently this myth resurfaced in the rather sick variation excerpted below, written by a rabbi in Kfar Chabad in Israel. My comments are in brackets.

‘The scene is London 1963.

[My father died in 1962.]

Three religious bearded Jews are sitting around a table and one, a noted rabbi and community leader by the name of Rabbi Koppel (sic) Rosen was weeping.
Usually he was known almost as well for his disdain toward the Chabad Chassidim as he was for his erudition.

[Strange. He came to visit when I was in Beer Yaakov Yeshiva in 1957, and together we went to Kfar Chabad to meet some friends of his. He was responsible
for getting Lord Wolfson to fund the building of Lubavitch House in Stamford Hill in the 1950’s, and he was a very old friend of Reb Laizer Spector, zl,
one of the main early supporters of Chabad in London, who actually went with him to the Rebbe the first time. My father was in contact with the Rebbe long
before his final illness, as letters exchanged between them in the fifties attest.]

Whenever there was an opportunity to belittle or even vilify Chabad he took it.

[It is true that he made fun of the credulous and superstitious, but neither I nor anyone else I know of ever heard him belittle Chabad.]

Several weeks later Rabbi Rosen was standing before the Rebbe. It had all come about so suddenly, he had always shuddered in repulsion at the name Chabad

[Oh no, not that lie again.]

and now it was so obvious that the Rebbe was unequalled in holiness and knowledge that he was actually shaking with excitement. But the Rebbe wasn’t enthusiastic
about his idea of becoming a Chassid. ‘Chassid?’ he answered, ‘I am willing to accept you as a partner. But not a Chassid.’

[The part about being accepted as a partner is the only element of this story that is mentioned in my father’s notes.]

Rabbi Rosen stayed for over a week in Brooklyn

[He has got the two visits confused and time scales wrong]

and every day he felt better and better, in some ways better than ever before in his life. For the first time the hatred he had always carried in his heart
was gone.

[Hatred? Of whom, Chabad? Then why had he been helping them for so long?]

That Shabbat he attended the ‘Farbrengen’ (gathering) of the Rebbe. Rabbi Rosen was elated. After the Farbringen he told everyone he met of the amazing
miracle that was happening to him;. how just reading the Tanya and seeing the Rebbe completely cured him of the worst disease and made him young again.

[There was no cure, no remission. But, yes, he did feel tremendous spiritual elation from being with the Rebbe.]

When the Shabbat was over he called home and told his wife to advertise the miracle until everyone knew.

[Rubbish, confirmed by my mother. In all he said to his wife and children, he never mentioned a cure.]

Rabbi Rosen never felt better in his life.

[He was on blood transfusions!]

He exclaimed that he was healthy and he felt it would last for ever. “I’ll begin by telling everyone about my miraculous recovery!” He exclaimed enthusiastically.

[His letters, notes and conversations say nothing about this at all.]

But the Rebbe emphatically stopped him. “No! You must tell no one!” But it was too late. Rabbi Rosin (sic) had already advertised.

[Strange that none of his family had been told any of this.] He returned home a different man, full of life and Chassidic joy and began several projects
to spread and teach but after a few months he contracted a cold which developed complications

[He had leukaemia!]

and, as the Rebbe foresaw, he passed away.‘

I find it fascinating that the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament contains a similar story of a man being warned not to reveal a miraculous healing, but
publicizing it anyway. It seems that it’s not just the Second Coming that some people in Chabad are borrowing from Christianity! If people can invent nonsense
like this to bolster their belief systems, then every story they tell becomes suspect. Myths and lies certainly won’t help bring ‘Moshiach Now’!

It was my mother’s Yahrzeit this week. Out of respect for her memory, let alone my father’s, zl, I hope someone in Chabad has the integrity and authority
to put an end to this for the sake of its own good name.

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

By Thomas Stauffer
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 02.27.2006
About 1,400 past and present Tucson call center employees of Convergys Corp. will receive more than $350,000 in back wages under a settlement with the U.S.
Department of Labor.
An investigation conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s Phoenix office determined that Cincinnati-based Convergys, which currently employs about 500
people at its call center at 3760 N. Commerce Drive, failed to compensate workers for time they spent at work preparing for their shift, said Deanne Amaden,
a spokeswoman for the department’s Wage and Hour Division Regional Office in San Francisco.
The back wages for the “pre-shift” work time will be paid to employees for work performed between September 2002 and April 2005 at Convergys, which at one
time had more than 1,400 employees and a second Tucson location at 9060 S. Rita Road, Amaden said.
The $352,376 to be paid to 1,396 employees is based on the amount of unpaid hours worked by the affected workers, Amaden said.
“What they did was go back and do a construction of what would have been worked, so the amounts people will get back should range from very little to a
few thousand dollars depending on how much work they did during that period,” she said.
A former Convergys worker said pre-shift time was comprised of logging onto the computer and bringing up all the applications needed to do begin receiving
or making calls.
“Depending on the computer and who used it before you, that could take anywhere from five minutes to a half hour, and you were never paid for that,” said
Ellen Hudson, who worked at Convergys from February 2000 to April 2005.
Convergys issued a press statement that denied allegations of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, but confirmed that it had reached an agreement to
pay the back wages.
“This resolution with the (Department of Labor) represents a decision by the company not to engage in protracted litigation with the (department) on issues
that were isolated or unique to Tucson, and that have long since been addressed within our operations.”

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

from the February 24, 2006 edition of the Christian Science Monitor


Some say proposed laws can help deter gun violence.
Others worry about deadly confrontations.
By Patrik Jonsson | Staff writer of The Christian
Science Monitor

ATLANTA – Instead of embracing a citizen’s “duty to
retreat” in the face of a physical attack, states may
be taking cues from the days of lawless frontier
towns, where non-deputized Americans were within their
rights to hold the bad guys at bay with the threat of
deadly force.

First enacted in Florida last year, “Stand Your
Ground” bills are now being considered in 21 states
including Georgia, according to the National Rifle
Association and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
Violence. The South Dakota senate approved one just
last week.

These new measures would push the boundaries beyond
the self-defense measures already on the books. Twelve
states already allow citizens to shoot intruders in
their homes, and 38 states permit concealed weapons in
public places. The “Stand Your Ground” laws would
allow people to defend themselves with deadly force
even in public places when they perceive a
life-threatening situation for themselves or others,
and they would not be held accountable in criminal or
civil court even if bystanders are injured.

Laws putting more judgment in an individual’s hands
stem from people’s increased concern about crime in
their communities. Proponents say it helps shift the
debate from gun control to crime control, and that
these laws are part of the rugged individualism of

“These laws send a more general message to society
that public spaces belong to the public – and the
public will protect [public places] rather than trying
to run into the bathroom of the nearest Starbucks and
hope the police show up,” says David Kopel, director
of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo.

Some critics say such “Wild West” laws are vigilante
justice, and commonplace confrontations and more
likely turn to violence.

“You don’t just broadly paint a new statewide law
saying, if you’re in doubt, go ahead and shoot and
kill the other person,” says Peter Hamm, spokesman for
the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in
Washington. “It’s anathema to peace and calm in our

Currently, Florida’s new law is being tested for the
first time. In Tampa, a tow- truck operator who shot
and killed a man he said was trying to run him over
used the “Stand Your Ground” law as a defense. The
district attorney is evaluating other forensic
evidence and eyewitness testimony that the shots came
from behind, and therefore were not in self-defense.

To be sure, the laws challenge the notion of “duty to
retreat” from attack upheld by many state supreme
courts. Yet the US Supreme Court came down against the
“duty to retreat” in a 1921 ruling.

In 2004, a National Academies of Science study was
unable to draw any conclusions about whether owing a
gun makes citizens safer.

About 35 percent of American homes contain some kind
of firearm, according to Center for Gun Policy and
Research at Johns Hopkins University. Their research
also shows that while there are 1.3 million
gun-related crimes committed in the US each year, guns
are used for self-defense 108,000 times in the same

Indeed, those lobbying for the “Stand Your Ground”
legislation say the proposed laws are more symbolic,
sending a powerful message to would-be criminals.
These laws “make it very clear that the good guy has
the advantage, not the bad guy,” says Wayne LaPierre,
CEO of the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Va.

However, many observers say the laws may promote gun
violence as urban gangs could claim self-protection in
the aftermath of shootouts. In Michigan this week,
people protested a proposed “Stand Your Ground” law by
wearing orange “innocent bystander” T-shirts. It came
only a few days after an 8-year-old boy was killed in
Detroit by a stray bullet from a gun fight.

“Stand Your Ground” laws could also change the way
Americans deal with each other, some experts say.

“If you’re in a state that’s passed one of these laws,
any time you’re in a potential confrontation you’ll
have to think about the fact that, ‘Will the fellow on
the other side misunderstand my anger and pull out a
gun?’ ” says Robert Batey, a law professor at Stetson
University in St. Petersburg, Fla.