Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Prayer is not going to fix it

Dear members of the religious right and others who oppose abortion, get your head out of your ass and listen to this one. Recently I read an article in some local paper asking people to "pray for an end to abortion". Hey, that's a nice idea and while I would love to one day live in a society where abortion is no longer a medical procedure, I'd also like to get to that point by it no longer being needed, not because it was prohibited. Prayer is all fine and dandy but after praying for something to be stopped and it has been almost 40 years since it was legalized, might want to change your tactics, just saying.

I have a better idea. How about instead of praying for some type of divine intervention, how about subscribing to the "God helps those who help themselves" school of thought. No, I'm not talking to those whackjobs who think picking up a gun is somehow going to solve things. How about this idea? Instead of waiting for something to miraculously happen, how about curing the cause instead of lamenting the symptoms over and over again?

Electing "conservative" politicians who offer token legislation in exchange for votes is not going to fix the problem either. If you want to eliminate abortion as we know it, here's what I propose. First of all, not everyone is going to subscribe to your way of thinking and believing. "Abstinence only" education is not going to keep people from trying to fulfill their biological instincts. Try accepting the fact that while your way of viewing the world and human sexuality may work for you, it is not going to work for everyone else and then work from there. Once you've got to that point, let's get to the second part. While you may believe that sex outside of marriage is a sin, it is safe to say that very likely most of the people who are showing up at abortion clinics don't share that same view or it was overlooked when conception took place. To try to get people to see things as a sin order to stop another sin does not work, especially when it allows the issue to continue on while you are attempting to convince people to share your worldview. Also, get rid of the whole idea that by teaching safe sex practices you are enabling irresponsible and "sinful" behavior. Which is worse to you, someone having sex outside of marriage and not having a child or someone having sex outside of marriage and then having an abortion as a result?

By supporting no other options to avoid pregnancy other than not having sex, you are in fact contributing to the very travesty you are trying to stop. Stop and think about that for just a little while.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Sprint-related links on fraud

Thought I'd put together a collection of links associated to the fraud I was talking about. If anyone from Sprint corporate who reads this wants to see where some of my information comes from, have at it.

The group mentioned in the 3rd link were most likely part of the same Brooklyn based fraud ring that plagued Sprint during the same time period as I have previously discussed.

This is the copy of the indictment.

While AT&T and T-Mobile sought to pursue charges and cooperate with authorities, there is no mention of Sprint which was hit often and repeatedly.

Change is coming

As much as "Change We Can Believe In" and "Hope" lost their luster a bit since November 2008, the truth of the matter is things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. It is not necessarily a "left vs. right" change as those who lack the mental capacity to see the world in more than 2 dimensions and colors would like to tell us.

Just as with time moving forward relentlessly, change follows it along. Sometimes it sputters, and rolls back down the hill, crushing those who sought to move ahead and sometimes it rolls forward so suddenly that it splatters those who were trying to push it back. Time is completely unstoppable, it marches on and waits for no one. Change happens when the conditions are right and obstacles are removed, much like a trickle of water, it will eventually make it's way to the sea.

Time is the great equalizer and those old men who now sit around, calling for the death of the President because he's a "Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Muslim" when in fact, they cannot stand that he is a black liberal, they will soon enough be below the ground. As time moves forward, change comes along behind it. Their children will certainly inherit some of the hatred but as generations go forward, things that were unthinkable just a few decades ago will be accepted as commonplace. In the South just 50 years ago, segregation was the norm but now you will find few people born after that time that still ask for it to be the rule.

You cannot stop change in the grand scheme of things, you can only delay it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stop in and say hello

You, yes, you. Those of you who have been featured in the articles I've written. I know you read this, why don't you go ahead and leave a comment defending yourselves? As many times as you come here, I know you want to say something, so go ahead. I'd like to hear your story, your side of things. Especially all of you reading this from those Overland Park and New York IP addresses.

I have one or two more articles on the subject to write before I let this one sleep for awhile. However, I'd like to go ahead and thank the heartless person at Sprint who fired my friend on Christmas Eve. This was someone I helped train and mentored in my time there. This was someone you stressed out to no end, someone who was literally puking from the stress you put on all of us. Perhaps this was a present to her instead, even though you didn't mean it that way. This is someone who missed work because of a family member who has cancer yet you had no problem getting rid of them. Classy, just classy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I believe

I believe in punk rock, I believe in skinhead reggae, the frenzied and fraternal mosh pit and everything else that makes sense with a few beers and good music. I believe in evenings turning into nights turning into the wee hours of the morning with pint after pint and conversation with like-minded souls. I believe in fending for yourself yet knowing that you have people at your back should it ever get to be more than your wits and steeltoed boots can handle. 

I sometimes like my women slightly large, my whiskey on the rocks, my music often loud and I like running through the night desiring and pursuing everything that makes sense until I finally run into the brick wall or the dawn. I love the company of the intellectuals, the dreamers, the tattooed and everyone else who refuses to accept the life less ordinary. The highs are unbelievably high and the lows are sometimes crushingly low but this is life with all of its joys and pain. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A 2nd Amendment solution

The 2nd amendment, it is the great equalizer. Along with the 14th amendment, it ensures the equality of all. Love it or hate it, the gun is the sword of the modern era. It allows a man to defend himself and to rebel, even in some small and often misguided ways, but it’s still a voice. The 1st amendment allows a man the right to voice his opinion, no matter how rational or irrational, the 2nd amendment guarantees it.

Now I know my more left wing friends will think this is me pandering to the right wing but this is the idea on which on our nation was founded. See, our Founding Fathers, (if I know them like I think I do) set this in place to ensure that in the case of complete oppression, a man could still command a little attention and perhaps decide his fate. This is not saying that people who have a grudge with the government should go shooting everything or everyone that he disagrees with. What this is saying that without the 2nd amendment, there is no 1st amendment, or 14th or any of the others that both progressives and conservatives put up on a pedestal and lament every time they don’t get what they want. The 2nd amendment protects us against tyranny, whether it be foreign, domestic, corporate or private. It is the nuclear option, the route you never want to go but still good to have as an absolute last resort.

As a nation, we are infatuated with guns, perhaps a little too much. Yet, in the hands of responsible and trained individuals, they are the front line against crime. While I fully respect most members of law enforcement, it takes them minutes to respond to a 911 call, whereas it takes me just seconds to pull and defend myself. This is not vigilantism; this is not “Death Wish” with Charles Bronson or Arnold in some over the top Hollywood flick. This is self reliance as I believe those who founded this country would have wanted. This is not depending on someone else to save your ass in a bad situation. 

I know some people say they could never pull the trigger and end the life of another human being. However, in my case when push comes to shove and I have to decide whether I want myself or someone I love to take a dirt nap or if I have to remove another human being to ensure my genetic survival, I will go ahead and unleash 95 grains, all six rounds of them, on target. Sometimes, reason only goes so far. Sometimes, talking and persuasion fail and push finally comes to a hard, lethal shove. While I hope that I will never have to actually do this, being both prepared and trained for this possibility is important. This is you in a possible life or death situation, deciding your fate and using your judgment and training to make a decision that will affect you for the rest of your life. This is responsibility assumed by you as an individual and by no one else. “Do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as needed?”

Friday, December 17, 2010

How Sprint loses millions monthly (Part 5 Chillul Hashem)

In today’s installment of the continuing story about Sprint and the ongoing revenue loss, we’ll look at the most recent information I have dug up on the internet and through my sources both at Sprint and from the Brooklyn community. One of the scams worked with data cards where people paid a dealer a onetime “fee” of $150 to $400 per data line and the customer supposedly would never have to pay Sprint a dime. One was a dealer in Lakewood, NJ and as I recall, he may go by the name of “Shlomo”. 

I was not able to dig up much information on him but I did find information on a store in Brooklyn, later determined to be known as “Cellular 4 Less”. There are a number of other stores across the country with the same name and I should make it clear that those are not connected to this bunch in any way that I know of. Here are a few snippets of what I found.

This was written on 4/23/2009 on a website discussion: “There is a new deal out of Boro Park. One time fee of $200 up front for 1000 minutes and unlimited text. Your monthly bill will be $2.50 a month. Must have pre-existing phone. For internet and Blackberry service more money is required up front but the monthly fee stays the same. If upgrading a plan in middle of contract it continues where its at does not start a new 2 year contract. I want to know if any one used him and their satisfaction level is. The name of the store is Click 4 Cell. It is exclusively for Sprint I think.”

I was not able to find much information on “Click 4 Cell” other than it was one of the apparently dozens of small shops in the area that seemed to be part of the “scam Sprint” conspiracy as they like to refer to it as. As for the plan mentioned before, this was the infamous “JC Plan”, discussed heavily on sites like and it was one of the glitches possibly designed and/or released by the terminated employee of Amdocs, the company that manages Sprint’s billing system. Sprint caught this within days and suspended access to the code, but not before it was placed on hundreds of lines. Many of these ended up a couple of accounts where the owners turned around and sold the phones and plan to others for hundreds of dollars a pop. Some customers were contacted and told they had to change but many managed to once again, slip through the cracks.

When the issue of Sprint catching on to this game and forcing changes came up, another poster wrote: “i spoke to a dealer who said he set up many plans and even when sprint sent out those letters the last two times, they never followed up on it. They sent letters out but never canceled anyone's plans.”

This was partially because Sprint’s account services department sabotaged the effort to cancel people or automatically change their plans in order to keep lines from going off the books. The letter told these customers that they had a set number of days to change the plan or terminate their service. If they did not contact Sprint, Sprint planned to change all lines to new plans by running a program that would accomplish that. However, some of the people assigned to the project suspiciously got reassigned before anything could be done, thereby nullifying months of research and planning.

Here’s a quote from a person who got caught. In this case, the plans had already been locked down so there was no real way for them to revert back once Sprint’s Executive Services department forced a change: “I got one of these plans, after six months sprint told me my rate was not available and they bumped up to $60 bucks a month instead of ten. Now Im stuck with $60 a month or $200 termination fee and I lost my upfront money that I paid to guy next to shomer shabbos. They said they can fix it for $150 but they are not guaranteeing how long it will last”. 

Shomer Shabbos is a 24 hr synagogue at 53rd and 13th streets in Borough Park in Brooklyn. There is a store called “Cellular 4 Less” which is at 5308 13th Street which is between 53rd and 54th Streets, right next to Somer Shabbos. In this New York Times article, it identifies both the owner (Mendy Handler) and the manager of the store (Sol Oberlander).
Mendy Handler is listed as the point of contact for Congregation Koson, just blocks away from the store.

A lot of the larger accounts setup with Sprint that were hugely unprofitable and manipulated were under the names of yeshivas and other non-profit groups, as well as businesses which seemed to exist only on paper. It is not known if these establishments were aware of and/or profiting from these scams but the preceding information seems to hint that at least some of them were.

Strange how these people have no issue with scamming Sprint as well as possibly members of their own community who may or may not know what they are doing is certainly a Chillul Hashem and possibly illegal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sprint terminates customers again?

Picked this one up over on another site. This is a letter that has apparently gone out, as mentioned before, to customers who were gaming the system. Good for you Sprint, it's about 'effing time.

Brooklyn's finest

A Nigerian scammer gets scammed

This is a "safari" I had the pleasure of running a couple years back when I was baiting West African "419" scams. It is a long thread so I will give you the highlights of it. This was a scammer, calling himself "Dan Nkwerre", who sent me an email in November 2008. He claimed to be the founder of a charity helping those displaced by the Darfur crisis.

As you may be able to tell from my work, I have always had a disgust with those who commit fraud and take advantage of others but charity scammers are the ones I hate the most.

So, what better punishment for this guy than to send him to the very place he pretended to be based? You guessed it, the border of Chad and Sudan. A hot, miserable and dusty little town called Abeche which is a few dozen kilometers from the border and certainly in harm's way.

After a couple of weeks where money we were "trying" so hard to transfer to him mysteriously disappeared or got intercepted on it's way to Nigeria, we finally convinced him to meet our fake missionary in December 2008. Unfortunately we could not get him to stay for 100 days or more which was our original goal which would have beaten the record for stranding a scammer in that region.

The story on the one guy is from pages 1 through 31 on this link. Enjoy the pictures we got them to pose for, like this one.

Or the phony certificates we like to have them make and waste their time on:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How Sprint loses millions monthly (Part 4)

Here is a link to showing that perhaps Sprint is pulling it's head out of it's ass and terminating customers who are cheating their billing system. But, if this is anything like the countless other times Sprint has tried to force customers who were cheating the system to fly right or terminate service, they'll manage to find a way to shoot themselves in the foot with bad PR. That is one possibility or they'll end up with the same people in account services finding a way, yet again, to keep these people on the books at a net loss.

While I fully support Sprint's actions on trying, again, to clean house, I believe that they need to come forward and explain to the press the background on this. As I have previously mentioned, not only were Sprint employees involved but indirect dealers as well. In the case shown in the thread, the plan in question was one that was heavily abused by dealers like Big Time Cellular in Brooklyn who went so far as to advertise their deals in the local circulars and web announcements. I have attached three different sets of pages as evidence.
Example 1:
Example 2:
Example 3:

Research shows that this fake dealer sold this "deal" to people all over the country but mostly in the New York metro area. These were mostly other Orthodox Jews who they apparently had no qualms about leaving to hold the bag when Sprint finally caught on. This was a "Chillul Hashem" in the truest sense of the word.

I'll continue posting more about this as information comes in. Stay tuned.

I don't need you to help me choose a side

I refuse to believe in this idea that there is a choice of being “right” or “left” and nothing else. Why are there only two options and who said we had to pick anything to begin with? Who said we had to make a choice? Why to do we have to put on a label and decide on a team anyhow? I don’t recall wanting to decide that I would have to don one of two cloaks, neither of which really fit me and shun those who don’t believe the same as I do; nor did I ever vote on a new statute that says I would align my thoughts with the mantra of one political fringe or another.

I’m a supporter of gay rights that loves to shoot guns and sometimes carries one for protection. I believe in the legalization of marijuana and support the death penalty. I oppose abortion in most cases but don’t accept that life begins when a sperm meets an egg and think that the religious right (especially Catholics) shares equal blame for unwanted pregnancies. I believe in unions but only to a certain extent and that with great wealth comes great responsibility. I support the ideals of fair trade, the freedom of the individual and my personal philosophy is that the government should be there to protect us from each other, not ourselves. I refuse to use politically correct, sensitive terms like “handy-capable” or “differently-abled” for people who have some type of handicap.
My views swing from left to right to libertarian to many other labels, depending on the issue. To accept the notion that we have to “choose a side” not only speaks volumes about one’s lack of a spine but also is indicative of our inability as a society to think for ourselves. When that happens, we end up going down the same road as 1930’s Germany, regardless of what political faction you decide to turn your brain over to.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Sprint loses millions monthly (Part 3) RIP Nextel

Got your attention? Next we will talk about Nextel, a once thriving (or so it seemed) company, now planned for phase out in 2013. Similar shenanigans went on there, much like Sprint. Stay tuned, we'll have the story for you in a couple days.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Judaism and me

Being a Jew in the South isn’t easy. I’ll admit I’m not a Jew by the standard description. It’s more of a heritage thing for me rather than a religious identity. My mother is an extremely devout Catholic, my father is a relatively non-observant Jew, his mother was a Jew but her parents were not accepted in the community due one being Sephardim and the other Ashkenazi. In Russia at that time, and to this day, there is a division between the two. 

Recently my mother found out, much to her initial shock, that she is 1/64th Jewish due to a female ancestor in the 1700’s who was from a Hungarian Jewish family that lived in New England. In my immediate family, most people seem to either completely deny or take just a grudging acceptance of our ancestry. However, for me, my grandmother Miriam was probably the greatest influence in my life when I was a child and I never forgot her words of advice. In fact, I have her name tattooed on my right arm with the words “My eternal gratitude” because of how much what she taught me still sticks with me today. I'm sure she would not be pleased with the tattooing as she was very much opposed to the practice according to my cousin who used to be a tattoo artist.

Here in the South, there is not a strong Jewish identity or community outside of the Miami area where rich New York Jews go to retire. In the absence of that influence and seeking something to replace the rigid Catholic upbringing I suffered under, I guess you could say I created my own personalized view of Judaism and what it meant to me. I don’t keep kosher and I have never observed Shabbat, mostly because of the lack of community in my area as well as my wariness of any organized religious event. Keeping kosher might have been attainable had I grown up in an area like Brooklyn or another Jewish neighborhood but living south of the Mason-Dixon line, surrounded by a Protestant culture, one becomes accustomed to the diet. There is some kosher food which is good but like many Reform Jews (the branch of Judaism I identify with the most), I eat just about whatever is put in front of me. Pork BBQ or shrimp and cheese grits could probably be considered the most un-kosher dishes possible but I really love them. I’m not about to give up some of the most delicious food around in order to keep with an outdated dietary law which made sense long before refrigeration and modern medicine.

I never really completely fit in anywhere, whether it is politically, socially or religiously and I’m ok with that. Perhaps I’ve taken the best practices of different beliefs and ideas and used them to make my own coat of many colors. After all, isn’t that what being yourself is really all about?