Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Sholom Rubashkin!

This week, Sholom Rubashkin, who was the CEO of what was once the largest kosher meat processing supplier in the world, will be sentenced to federal prison for “financial fraud.” Prosecutors will ask for essentially a life sentence, while a lot of other people, including a number of former U.S. attorneys general, are asking for leniency.

I will go against all of them. Sholom Rubashkin, in my view, does not need “leniency.” He needs to be freed, period, for the man is not a criminal, which is more than I can say for the people who hounded and prosecuted him and destroyed his business, Glatt kosher Agriprocessors of Postville, Iowa. Let me begin.

Rubashkin is a Hasidic Jew, his family having fled the U.S.S.R. after the Nazi invasion. They came to the United States and set up a butcher shop in New York City. After marriage , he and his new bride moved to Atlanta on shlihut to do kiruv (Jewish outreach). At about the same time, Rubashkin’s father started a kosher meat processing business in Postville to better enable Jews living outside of main Jewish centers to be able to obtain kosher meat.

Before Glatt kosher Agriprocessors began to expand its business, Jewish families could only purchase kosher meat from small butchers and specialty stores that catered to Jews. This made things more difficult for Jewish families who did not leave near these kinds of stores, but by expanding the amount of kosher meat for sale, the firm was able to bring kosher meat to regular grocery stores, which was not a small development for jewish families.

Soon, Rubashkin joined his father’s company and the family moved to Postville. As the Jewish Daily Forward declared (more about the Forward later), the Rubashkins literally changed how Jewish people in the United States eat. Like many others who practice Hasidism, the Rubashkins were generous to people in the community, both Jews and non-Jews, and generated a lot of good will as a major employer in that area.

Unfortunately, being successful in the United States these days does not garner praise; it makes one a target of people who specialize in promoting strife and envy. In this Age of Envy and dominance by the state, it seems that the only entrepreneurship that is acceptable is political entrepreneurship, and the Rubashkins did not fall into that category. (Public Choice economists call such political entrepreneurship “rent seeking.”) The Rubashkins made their living from processing meat, and that meant slaughtering animals according to Jewish dietary laws that are thousands of years old, and that attracted the attention of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

First, PETA charged in magazine articles that the Rubashkin plant was a veritable house of horrors, something out of an Upton Sinclair novel. (Notice, I say that The Jungle is a novel, since it was written as socialist propaganda and had as much veracity as did PETA’s charges.) The organization charged that the place was a filthy hellhole with unsanitary (at best) facilities where animals were tortured and worse, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Second, while it was clear that PETA’s charges were false, nonetheless the organization managed to put the kosher meat facility in the public eye, thus making it a bigger target for federal authorities. The next organization to go after Glatt kosher Agriprocessors was the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which had been unsuccessful in organizing the plant. Part of the problem was its workforce, and anyone who has been near a meat or chicken processing plant will know that a lot of immigrants from Mexico and Central America work there, as well as Asian immigrants.

Work in these plants is hard and low-paying, but low-skilled workers nonetheless are able to band together and make enough money to live in the United States and send money back home to relatives. However, they clearly were not candidates for union membership, which not only enraged the union leadership, but also caught the attention of liberal Jewish groups that don’t much care for the ultra-orthodox Hasidim, including the publishers of the Jewish Daily Forward.

The Forward ran a number of articles (sourced by the UFCW, of course) that claimed Rubashkin was hiring not only illegal immigrants, but also was exploiting child labor. At the same time, political conservatives such as Wesley Pruden of the Washington Times, were mounting a huge campaign against illegal immigration, and the Bush administration decided to make an example out of Agriprocessors and staged an extremely public raid on the facilities in 2008.

Keep in mind that the government went full-scale paramilitary on its raid, complete with a Blackhawk helicopter, and heavily-armed police carrying submachine guns and other weapons. The raid was no surprise; in fact, days earlier, Rubashkin knew the raid was coming and personally contacted the federal authorities and promised to cooperate with them.

Not surprisingly, the Bush administration did things its way, and its way was to be as brutal as possible. More than 300 workers were rounded up, denied legal representation, and forced to plead guilty to a number of charges. They were imprisoned for up to five months, and then deported. The feds then seized all of the company’s records and went on a fishing expedition.

Ultimately, the government charged Rubashkin with financial fraud, claiming that the company had faked invoices and other financial documents in order to inflate its financial assets in order to qualify for larger loan amounts from First Bank of St. Louis. In fact, Rubashkin’s firm had overstated its revenues, but that is much more common than one might think and generally does not land one in a criminal trial.

I will give an example that most readers can understand, a personal example. Last year, we refinanced our mortgage, and an appraiser came to our house to see if we would qualify for the best deals. There was a “magic” number for our house’s value, and he asked me at least twice if I believed that our place qualified.

My answer always was the same: “I have no idea. That is up to you.” Now, I was hoping that he would see to it that our house met the so-called value threshold, although I had serious doubts that we actually could sell our house on the open market at that price, and I was not going to say anything that legally could get me into trouble later on. In fact, during the refinancing boom of the last decade, appraisers generally overstated the market value of houses so that the owners or perspective buyers could qualify for certain loans.

Was this fraud? Legally, it was. How far did the fraud go, and who perpetrated it? It would determine who the feds wished to target before that decision could be made. For example, if the feds wished to crucify the homeowner, they can get the appraiser to testify and the homeowner lied to them, and, no doubt, the bankers would testify that they never would have approved the jumbo-sized loan had not the homeowner or perspective buyer defrauded them.

That would be a lie, but federal prosecutors regularly suborn perjury, something I have documented in dozens of articles over the years. For that matter, if the feds wished to nail the bankers or the appraisers, they would “convince” the others in that chain to testify to whatever would be the most damning testimony. It would not matter as to what really happened, as federal prosecutors famously create their own reality, or at least a reality that the courts, the political classes, and the media will swallow.

In the case of Agriprocessors, the loan was a revolving $35 million payout that enabled the company to keep a steady cash flow, meet payroll, and pay its bills. The firm was not arrears in payment, and all indications were that the company would be able to meet its obligations to the bank.

Because the federal courts have eviscerated the ancient doctrine of mens rea, which means that prosecutors needed to prove that a person charged intended to commit a crime, intent to defraud no longer matters. In fact, one can argue that Agriprocessors did not “defraud” First Bank at all, and there are indications that the bank knew that Agriprocessors was overstating its revenues and underestimating its costs (something the federal government does every year, but never results in anyone’s arrest), but did not care because its good customer paid its bills on time. The company was profitable, and so was the bank.

That was not all, according to the feds. Apparently, certain suppliers of cattle and other things are required by a little-known (and almost never enforced) law from the 1920s to be paid within 24 hours. No one had complained about the late payments, to my knowledge; instead, it was yet another of those “legal technicalities” that federal prosecutors use when they want to convict someone on something.

I won’t dwell on Sholom Rubashkin’s trial, except to say that there were some highly-prejudicial aspects that should be mentioned. Certainly, Hasidim are to people in Iowa what Old Order Amish might be to people from New York City: alien creatures from outer space. Hasidic Jews live a separate life, although it is clear to many people in Postville, Rubashkin, his family, and his company were heroes and important to the community and its well-being.

None of that mattered to the jury located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the trial was held, and federal jurors quickly returned guilty verdicts. According to the New York Times, the damning testimony came when…
Former Agriprocessors employees testified that Mr. Rubashkin had personally directed them to create false invoices to show First Bank, which is based in St. Louis, that the plant had more money flowing in than it really did.
Knowing how federal prosecutors operate, I have no idea if any of those witnesses told the truth. Federal prosecutors are well-known for suborning perjury and are especially known to do it in high-profile cases, such as this one. One can be sure that the people who testified was told that if they did not testify according to a certain script, then the feds would levy fraud charges against them, too. (If the readers wishes to gain some insight into how federal prosecutors lie in order to gain testimony they want, read this link to what the feds did in the trial of Jeffrey Skilling of Enron. Because no federal prosecutor ever has to worry about being charged with suborning perjury, one can bet that this kind of behavior is the norm, not the exception, among U.S. attorneys.)

On another front, the State of Iowa originally charged Rubashkin with more than 9,000 counts of child labor law violations and he recently stood trial. Even after prosecutors amended the charges to just 83, they could not win a single conviction. (While state courts are known to be corrupt, unlike the federal courts, evidence generally matters in state trials.)

Unfortunately, there is more. After the feds originally charged Rubashkin with fraud charges, the prosecutors argued that he was a “flight risk” and should be imprisoned. Their reasoning? Rubashkin is a Jew and the nation of Israel grants expedited citizenship to Jews around the world. They further stretched the story by pointing out that Rubashkin kept about $20,000 in cash, as well as his passports and other documents in a lockbox in his home.

There are two aspects to that story. First, most of us keep some cash and papers in lockboxes, and we are among that “criminal” crowd that likes to keep these things in a single place just in case we need them. Second, one of the Rubashkin children is autistic, and the family knew they needed to keep certain papers secure in a place where that child would not be able to find and disturb or scatter them, not realizing what they were. Obviously, this is something that would affect literally every Jew charged with a crime, given that the vast majority of them are considered to be “citizens” of Israel, even if very, very few of them actually would do such a thing. (For that matter, anyone with a passport and cash would be considered a “flight risk” to somewhere, given those standards.)

There is another, more troubling, aspect of this case to me, and it goes to the heart of federal criminal law and how it is enforced. Bernie Madoff was guilty of fraud; he ran a Ponzi scheme, and no Ponzi scheme – including those run by the government – can survive over time. Madoff knew that sooner or later, his investors would lose their money, and that is exactly what happened.

Fraud goes to intent. One defrauds someone else if one purposely charts a course of action that will negatively affect the other party, while promising to give that party positive results. For example, if I borrow money in order to start a business, but then use those funds instead for a Caribbean cruise, that is fraud.

However, Sholom Rubashkin intended to pay back his loans, as he always had done, and he intended his business to continue to provide kosher meat to people who wanted to buy it. He had no plans to abscond with the money he borrowed, with people showing up to work one day and finding the place padlocked and Rubashkin and his family on a secret cruise to Israel.

There was no fraud in the historic sense of the word. If there was misrepresentation of his funds, that was a civil and contractual matter between Agriprocessors and First Bank, and, let’s face it, had the feds not invaded his plant and shut down the operation, Agriprocessors still would be in operation today and most of us never would have heard of Sholom Rubashkin.

To understand federal criminal law today, one must remember that it is something far removed from the roots of what criminal law used to be in the United States. In the past, a crime designated real harm done by one party to another, whether it was robbery, murder, assault, rape or something in which it was obvious that one party clearly injured another.

Today, however, most federal criminal law falls into the “public welfare” category, in which a person charged has failed to perform a certain so-called public duty, or has failed to follow a set of rules which often are arbitrarily set up and even more arbitrarily administered. Not surprisingly, we have seen federal criminal law put to an increasing number of political applications. The legal language might be similar to what it was in the past, but now it is describing certain things that might have political meaning, but describe simple disobedience from the federally-prescribed way of doing things.

The irony is that the feds are calling this a huge “fraud,” but the only people really being defrauded are the victims of this federal assault. Let us look at the real damage that the feds have inflicted upon people:
  • A thriving business has been shut down, and hundreds of people now are out of work, and a town is reeling economically and financially;
  • A woman will be deprived of her husband for many years, and a number of children will not have a father;
  • First Bank was heavily damaged by this action in a way that never would have been the case had the feds not decided to “rescue” the bank from its “fraudulent client;”
  • Kosher meat is more expensive and much less available than it was before the government destroyed Glatt.
No doubt, federal authorities consider this whole affair to be a great victory, and they are telling the rest of us how they are protecting us from fraudsters and exploiters. In truth, the real fraudsters and exploiters here are the federal agencies that took part in this action, and the various groups that were cheerleaders for it.

Literally, thousands of people were harmed by what the government did. However, no one from the federal government lost a dime.

42 comments:

Cyril said...

Why does this not surprise me, at all? Disproportionate prosecution is par for the course in our legal system. Right before I read your article, I read another in which a federal judge is taking a stand against sentencing guidelines which put viewers of child pornography in jail longer than actual child abusers.

Lame said...

Cyril, I too noticed the foolishness in that. I remember when I was looking at the sentencing guidelines back in 2000 for Florida, it was 5 years per image. With that guideline, someone who has approximately 50 mb of images (if each image has a file size of 100k) would spend 2,500 years in prison. That's longer than even what Tonya Craft faced. And, they don't even have to be hard core pornography either, just pictures of nude kids. And, they don't even have to be nude these days, with the way the feds went after Marc Evan Greenberg and Jeff Libman for running an internet modeling site that was 100% non-nude, and no allegations were ever made that they had even had nude pictures of their models. They went after them because Rep Mark Foley didn't like the fact that they operated within his district--typical hypocritical government officials there, Mark Foley was himself a homosexual pedophile.

Guys, the moral of this and the Tonya Craft and so many other stories is that the government has gone too far, gained too much power, and unless something is done soon to stop it, we won't have even a Constitution to gurantee our rights and freedoms.

KC Sprayberry said...

You left out one thing, Lame. Obviously, this bank is in deep financial trouble with losing one of their best customers. Therefore, if one follows that line of logic, they will require bailout money. Oh, how I hate that word. The financial bailout would not be necessary if everyone followed one little thing in their lives - telling the truth. That goes from all those politically charged federal prosecutors right down to the common man. Our financial mess will still be in existence when our grandchildren's grandchildren are trying to figure out why they're responsible for this mess. Perhaps it's time for a massive overhaul of our court system, starting at the top. Bill had the right idea. Instead of having prosecutors and defense attorneys, we need a business manager running the DA/AG system, assigning attorneys to defend or prosecute. The public defender system can also be included in that. So, attorneys can't make millions defending people who deserve prison when they know they might next month, be prosecuting the same person. That might truly give us an equal system for our trials. Judges, too, should be included. No more a judge getting the bench and staying there until they retire or move up to equal their incompetence. Then there are the criminals walking away daily because they claim one or more of their precious rights were violated. Yes, rights are important. No, one person doesn't have more rights than another person. The framers of the constitution never framed the Bill of Rights to do as it is today. Oversight is needed everywhere. The fix won't come tomorrow or next year, but with cases like Tonya's, we'll slowly turn this system around. But we have to remember these cases and use them as a way to clean up a system so logjammed it almost looks unfixable.

Anonymous said...

I followed this story when it first became 'news' and was under the impression that the feds were prosecuting for hiring of illegals and my reaction was - good, the feds are finally prosecuting the employers who no doubt are falsifying I-9s. I know you as a Libertarian believe in open borders which is where I part company with Libertarians.

I did find it odd that this plant was raided and not the hindreds of others in north Georgia and elsewhere.

liberranter said...

Anon 10:48, to say that ALL libertarians believe dogmatically in open borders is inaccurate. What the typical libertarian will probably tell you is that the whole illegal immigration/open borders "problem" is one solely of the State's own making. Without the socioeconomic distortions and disrespect for private property that the State routinely perpetrates upon the citizenry, the movement of people and the economic interactions between them would have no spillover effect whatsoever on society at large.

Back to the topic of this thread, Bill has hit the nail squarely on the head with the following statement:

Unfortunately, being successful in the United States these days does not garner praise; it makes one a target of people who specialize in promoting strife and envy. In this Age of Envy and dominance by the state, it seems that the only entrepreneurship that is acceptable is political entrepreneurship, and the Rubashkins did not fall into that category.

Sholom Rubashkin was destroyed by Leviathan precisely because he did not grease palms, roll over, and play the role of subservient slave to the masters of the state-corporate oligarchy that is our lord and master. This is the fate of ANY AND ALL entrepreneurs in Amerika today who are still delusional enough to think that their business is their own private property and that they are free to operate in a free market. Had Rubashkin cozied up to Iowa's politicians (especially those inhabiting the Rome-on-the-Potomac center of power) and paid tribute, as is expected of every large "business" owner in Amerika today, he would be a {relatively} free man and his business still in operation, although his profit margin would be significantly reduced by having to pay the state and federal mafiosi their cut of "protection" money.

Moral of the story: Only a masochistic moron would launch a "legitimate" business in today's Amerika. Small wonder that the underground economy is thriving, and will continue to do so as long as the anarcho-tryannical federal gunverment remains in operation.

Trish said...

Just sad on so many levels. Too bad they don't spend this much time, effort, and money on dealing with real criminals. Imagine how much better life would be if they did!!

Thanks Bill, for sharing another American travesty with us.

Anonymous said...

ANARCHY NOW! Pray it's not too late.

Anonymous said...

The infamous Chattanooga police officer Daves, has been placed on paid leave until internal affairs investigate. I am sure in 3-4 days we will hear about how they found no wrong doing on his part and he was just "doing his job".

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:11,
I followed this story here and there when it happened. When you say he didn't rollover and grease the palms, what exactly did you mean? Get Real. Keep in mind that @ the same time they were having widespread problems w/ tainted food,and still are. PETA (I hate PETA, by the way) just happened to do an expose and compiled the issue. I do think they have taken it a little too far. And as far as the immigration goes, I don't feel bad for him or anyone else who employs illegals. And I am a small business owner. I feel the gov't shouldn't spend BILLIONS of dollars building a ridiculous fence, just FINE THE CRAP out of employers who employ them and help pay off our TRILLION deficit. The conditions of this slaughter house was rougher than most, sanitary & cruelty wise. I am not a real fan of big gov't, but I do think this business owner deserved most of what he got.

Six said...

Thanks for highlighting this story and putting it all together in one post. I have lightly followed his case, but this was an excellent summary of the (yet again) failure of government to go after the real criminals (too often itself...)

volfan69 said...

How did we get so turned upside down and backwards? What next? This leaves me with such a feeling of hopelessness!

I agree with those that are against hiring illegals. My brother-in-law works for a trucking company. He has talked often of how much he pays in taxes and the illegals laugh and show their pay stubs with nothing taken out. I get that. However, I don't understand what has happened to this man and his family.

Thanks for this perspective, Mr. Anderson. As always, I appreciate you. Bobb

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:52PM

How is a small business owners able to stay in business when their competitors employ illegals paying wages well below the average. It forces the business to either employ illegals themselves or go out of business. I totally 'get' the reason for them migrating is due in part because NAFTA and it is sad that Mexican farmers have been hit hard but should we put empathy for them ahead of our own welfare?

If the feds would fine the employers the problem would be solved.

FGBA said...

Professor Anderson, did you know that the Rubashkin supporters have a public relations agency working for them? I have read similar stories on other blogs. You wrote:
"A thriving business has been shut down, and hundreds of people now are out of work, and a town is reeling economically and financially". What do you know about Agri Star Meat & Poultry LLC, also with an address of 220 West Street in Postville, Iowa?

Dinah Menil said...

You know, you can find San Francisco criminal attorney here

Just Saying said...

Well said, professor Anderson.

I've been following this trial too and it is a real miscarriage of justice. It is very much like the target painted around the arrow.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

It looks like the prosecutors were every bit as evil as Arnt and Gregor. http://blogs.jta.org/telegraph/article/2010/06/21/2739702/rubashkin-defense-team-responds-to-27-year-sentence

"And before trial, the District Judge severed the trial of the 72 immigration violations in the Seventh Superseding Indictment from the 91 bank-fraud charges. Nonetheless, contending that he committed bank fraud when he represented to the bank that Agri was complying with the law, the Iowa prosecutors presented more than two days of highly inflammatory testimony regarding the immigration allegations during the bank-fraud trial. The District Judge denied repeated defense requests for a mistrial."

jp said...

Free medical care, free education, and anchor babies. Of course they come here in droves. Who can blame them?

End the US Welfare state as well as minimum wage laws - this would take care of any problematic immigration issues and decrease the unemployment rate.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

You know, the inflammatory and inaccurate discussion by the prosecution of his hiring practices makes me ill. People used to be considered young adults at 13. At the age of 14, Jack Pardee was a roughneck on oil derricks.

We artificially extend childhood and raise materialistic mall rats. Then we justify sending somebody to prison for 27 years for the kind of fraud that generally nets 2 years or less because they employed "children"?

http://www.chabad.info/index.php?url=article_en&id=19273

And FBGA, I think that it is WONDERFUL that this guy can afford a public relations firm. It's marvelous because anyone who goes up against lying, scumbag prosecutors who use smear tactics prior to trial, SHOULD have a public relations firm.

Anonymous said...

William Anderson mentions the Enron case a lot. I know a liberal college professor who told me that the Enron defendants "hurt more people" than the killers in the Christian-Newsom case. This fellow says that Enron caused more damage than street criminals because they cost a large number of people their life savings.

I vehemently disagreed but he is sure of his opinions.

David In Tennessee

KC Sprayberry said...

As someone who watched parking lots in nearby Dalton fill up with buses ten years back when INS did raids on the carpet mills, I can agree somewhat with not hiring illegal aliens. For one thing, most never paid taxes. Sure, they sent money home to their families, about half, but they used hospitals and never paid their bills. They demanded the same rights as US citizens when arrested but refused to become a citizen. And after being deported back to Mexico, about three-quarters were back at their jobs within a couple of weeks. Why do I feel it's wrong to hire them? Well, we're in a job downturn period. Jobs the average American would have thumbed their nose at ten years ago will put food on the table and keep the roof over their heads. The problem with illegals at my husband's plant isn't as bad as it was before but other places still hire them and there are a lot of folks still laid off or out of a livelihood with no chance of employment unless they commute to Atlanta, about 3 hours south. Now, the situation may have been completely different in Iowa. I don't know since I've never been there. What I do know is that working in any kind of slaughterhouse is nasty and most people can't do it.
Another point. PETA will do anything to bring down anyone associated with processing any type of meat, even lie or stretch the truth beyond breaking. For any prosecutor, whether federal or local, to use their loud and often erroneous complaints as the basis for a criminal trial makes me wonder if that person supports PETA. Now, that's a conflict of interest if ever I saw it.
All I can say is thank you, federal prosecutor. You have made all that many more people dependent on bailouts and government money to survive.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

KC,

I am conflicted on illegal immigration, but I refuse to measure my worth or that of anyone else based on whether or not they are taxpayers. In fact, I CELEBRATE people who are productive and add to the private sector while avoiding paying into the coffers of our worthless, idiotic, money-wasting government. I say starve it for the more malnourished it is, the less damage it can do.

The powers that be think of us as mere cash cows whose labor and property is to be used according its whim. I refuse to buy into that.

I know the arguments about hospitals and the like, but that's a function of allowing the government to steal money from some to pay the medical expenses of others.

I say the faster government entities go broke, the faster our liberties will return and we won't be funding idiots like Arnt and Gregor.

Kaye said...

Bill,

I apologize in advance for going off topic here, but Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters is being interviewed on UCTV right now and much to my surprise he is denying being involved in the Eric Echols case. When he was initially asked as to involvement, he even seemed confused as to who Eric Echols was. If he was really the judge at the time of Eric Echols arrest, then I wonder why he would deny that fact. Very strange.

He explained his main 2 complaints he made to the JQC concerning his boss, Sonny Caldwell.

1. Caldwell asked him to solicit campaign contributions for his last election from certain people, and

2. Caldwell spends his days playing Poker on his computer.


This interview is very strange, and his answers seem to be very disjointed at times.

Again, sorry for straying off the current topic...

Kaye

KC Sprayberry said...

Jerri Lynn, my big problem with illegal aliens not paying taxes is their willingness to participate in tax based programs. Quite a few of them who have brought their families here get food stamps and state sponsored health care. Their kids attend school but someone else pays for it. That someone are the taxpayers who don't stint the government, no matter how much we feel we're getting shafted. And when an illegal drives a far better vehicle than we can afford and laughs at us for being stupid to pay those taxes, taxes we can't avoid paying without a huge penalty, it kind of rubs the wrong way. This is our reality in an area with a lot of illegal aliens. Most of them are pretty good but it's the ones taking advantage of the system that spoil it for all.

john lichtenstein said...

There is a Gresham's law problem here. If a business can get ahead by cooking its books soon everyone is forced to cook their books or they can't compete for capital.

Look at it this way, there are lenders who would have provided capital given the actual state of affairs, they just would have charged a higher risk premium. Rubashkin was lying to avoid paying a fair risk premium. I think that isn't in dispute.

Many famous Ponzi schemes, such as Madoff and Enron, start out as simply bad ideas that are covered up with accounting fraud. Enron also added in some fairly flagrant looting by its officers (supplier contracts given to Lay run businesses, gifts to Fastow).

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

"Jerri Lynn, my big problem with illegal aliens not paying taxes is their willingness to participate in tax based programs."

I agree. But there are a lot of Americans who do the same thing. Many of them do it without being productive at all.

If one wishes to look at this from the perspective of collectivism, who is more harmful to the collective? An American who sponges off the government and who sits on their butt in front of the TV all day, or a Mexican who works to make a company (that pays taxes) productive? Even subtracting out the tax subsidy to the Mexican, he is probably more productive. The worst case is if he takes more in subsidy than he adds to the economy. Then the question becomes, is he a bigger tax-eater than the couch-sitter?

That said, I am still sorting out my thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

This statement explains why Sandra is so hated!!!

Unfortunately, being successful in the United States these days does not garner praise; it makes one a target of people who specialize in promoting strife and envy.

Anonymous said...

there is one thing that has to be pointed out here which is little known,

The judge wont let the defense to bring up in court a lot of their evidence,

1 example is, that the accountant ABE ROTH a well known accountant was willing to show where EVERY penny went & that there absolutely NO fraud involved here at all,

Another example is that she wouldn't let them to tell the jury that this Law from the 1920's was never enforced, claiming that this is not really important......

Anonymous said...

The do gooder liberal jewish media such as the forward and the do gooder liberal jewish groups such as magen tzedek, have played a similar role in this case, as the one the cappos and the judenratt played in Nazi Germany. The self destructive capablities of the jewish community are simply astounding. Had it not been for the misplaced zeal to hound the rubashkin family conducted by a very unholy alliance of secular Liberal Jews together with a clearly antisemitic leaning prosecution, judge and jury, combined with the unions, Peta, and the state and federal government, the reality on the ground in Iowa would have been a very different one. It is utterly disgusting to have Jews who could care less about kosher, who eat anything under the sun and prevert the interpretation of what kosher actually means to fit their own demented liberal view of the world, come and preach to the orthodox Jewish community how they should certify Kashrut, shame on them. I would not have expected any better from the government, or the unions, or Peta, but I would have expected better from the so called liberal jewish community. Their sin is unforgivable and the blood of the Rubashkin family is on their hands and their conscience Until the day he is released and beyond.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article. Its scary! This is looking like 1930's Germany!

They're scapegoating the Jew! Is Jewish blood that cheap?!

27 years in prison?

liberranter said...

They're scapegoating the Jew! Is Jewish blood that cheap?!

Sholom Rabushkin's legal persecution is not the result of the fact that he is a Jew per se; it's the fact that he's a member of an alien (for Iowa) community and thereby despised minority, as are many of the illegal Mexican immigrants who worked for him. Such people are easy targets for malicious agents of the State and the uneducated, bigoted, uninformed rabble that keep them in power.

One element that has been a consistent part of the rise of EVERY tyrannical regime in human history has been the targeting of a despised and underrepresented minority as a "criminal element" or an "enemy of the people," be it ethnic, racial, religious, economic, or social. By targeting this group, creating false propaganda to justify its repression, and implementing extraordinary, extra-legal measures to "deal with" the problem, tyrants throughout history have been able to put in place machinery to repress their entire populations. In this case, Sholom Rubashkin was a convenient excuse for the fedthugs to shut down a lucrative business that had refused to play by the oligarchy's rules. A precedent has been set for future actions of this type, the next victims of which will probably be non-Jews.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

liberranter,

Excellent analysis. I also invite everyone to read the book, "They Thought they were Free." The author went to post-WWII Germany and asked people why they tolerated a totalitarian government.

Their response? They thought they were free. You will see that liberranter is right on target.

john lichtenstein said...

Some of the comments at failedmessiah.typepad.com have noted that you are commenting on the Rubashkin case.

ec said...

Seems to me...

The plant was closed and therfore bankrupted on child labour charges.

Sholom Rubashkin has been cleared from all these charges.

Therefore the government is reponsible for the company's bankruptcy.

Sholom Rubashkin should sue the government for bankrupting his company.

The losses to the banks were the result of the bankruptcy and also the responsibility of the government.

Anything wrong with this logic?

Anonymous said...

William,

I praise you for your honesty and truth. I praise you for your strength and commitment to stand up for a Jew who has clearly been persecuted and prejudiced because he is a Jew.
Our G-d will seek vengeance for this because He is truly just and He desires truth and justice - America is in great danger. People like you will deserve Divine protection for upholding the honor of the Jewish people. All others should scrutinize their actions and repent.
This is not the voice of doom rather the reality.
Be well and G-d bless you.

Eleanor (the non Jew with a view) said...

I read the JTA article which has also chosen to publish the following comment from a Jewish illiterate racist:
"The solution to this Jew hatred by the usa goyerment is obvious. First NO JEW should get involved in the war between al quaida and ameriKKKa A plague on both their houses. BUT more effective will be for Jews in Israel to start arresting christians on every miniscule law infraction and making mountains out of a molehills. By arresting thousands of christians in israel they can be traded for Jews such as Rubashkin that are being targetted [sic] in ameriKKKa..."

Jews are overrepresented within the areas of fraud which does seem to be a tradition for this community. I have lost count of the numbers of articles I have read about Jews who will plead "menatl illness", "the holocaust" or "antisemitism" as a reason why they should be excluded from the laws that apply to us all. This man is not a victim. He is a criminal and a crook. but then again, fraud and immoral financial practices are condoned within rabbinical texts.

Ron Jones said...

After many years of observing life, government, and society, I have found it helpful to keep the following mindset:

~THE GOVERNMENT IS LYING
~THE PRESS RELEASE IS A FRAUD
~THE GUILTY ARE [probably] INNOCENT

When I do this...everything falls into place, and seems to make sense.

Anonymous said...

and the gov. assualt on gizmodo!!!

listen guys, the gov. is a family run affair of #@$% and steve jobs and any left winger can tell the feds what to do, and will plonder in the name of law any1 who they like

well if u ask me what would i do pre ww1? i dont know just as i dont now what to do

AvodasHashem said...

I think Hashem is telling us all to examine our business conduct. Are we being scrupulously honest with our financial affairs? Regardless of whether Mr. Rubashkin is innocent or guilty, this whole affair is a message from G-d, in my opinion, to take stock of our business dealings in general. If we are a holy nation of priests and a light unto the world, we must act like it. This incident is a giant chillul Hashem and a wake up call to all Jews to straighten up and fly right. We must be accountable. For me, it's not about whether he's guilty or not, it's about how can we prevent such a chillul Hashem from happening in the future so that the papers will be filled with stories of how Jews have done great things that give honor to Hashem and sanctify His name. We are His ambassadors and we need to remember that always and act like it. That said, my heart cries for the Rubashkin family and all of k'lal Yisrael for the humiliation they and we are suffering. May Hashem have mercy on us.

Saul said...

Eleanor said "He is a criminal and a crook. but then again, fraud and immoral financial practices are condoned within rabbinical texts".

It is one thing to debate whether you believe Rubashkin is a criminal and a crook, but there is no doubt that you are off your rocker when you slander "rabbinical texts". Either you back it up with proof, or you apoligize for your slanderous, false accusations. If you read the Old Testement, you would see all the laws and commandments regarding being honest in business, life etc. The basis of our legal justice system comes from Judeo-Christian law. You can not make outrageous claims that have no basis in reality, and get away with it. You know what you are deep down inside, and you will suffer the consequences for it.

Anonymous said...

You know, whatever you all may think about Mr. Rubashkin, I know him and his wife personally and I will try to convey what kind of people they are.
I met them through family members when they (and I) were in our twenties. Their home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn was like a haven for the poor and unfortunate. Their front door was always open to whomever needed help, food, money - WHATEVER. They had homeless families living in their basement for goodness sake.
These two tzaddikim ("saints" in English) never sent a poor person away. They fed and clothed the needy - even if they didn't know them at all. If you needed something, you could count on the Rubashkins to help.
I was truly astonished that such young people could be so big hearted. They did not care about their own personal needs at all - they just cared about their fellow human beings.
I personally became a religious Jewish woman after having seen, up close and personal, how the Rubashkins represented Judaism in its highest and purest form.
Truly, there are no words that could faithfully describe the giving and caring that this amazing couple embody.
What gives me comfort today is that I know that God knows the Truth, as always, - and I believe we will see miracles happen for the Rubashkins soon.

Anonymous said...

What was not mentioned here is that all the Rubashkin workers had valid ss#. The Feds tried 3 time to get their workers in with fake social security numbers and were turned down, Their undercover man had to be furnished with a "real" SS# faked by the FBI to get in.

The Rubashkins requested Gov't help in identifying illegals, a (DOCUMENTED) request the feds IGNORED.

While they probably assumed they had some illegals there they had no way of knowing which employees were illegal. Hence no intention in hiring illegals.

My blogger account is not accepting my password so I am posting anonymous

Dr. Paul Maas Risenhoover said...

http://www.scribd.com/doc/41316093/Victims18USC3771eMotionMandamus102487NDIowaUSvRabbiRubashkinShlita