Friday, December 26, 2008

Meet the meat

Deep Throat just emailed me the following: Do with it what you will.

12/18/08

THE FOLLOWING ARE TALKING POINTS

CONCERNING THE RUBASHKIN CASE:

1. The Rubashkin Family started their meat business in Postville, Iowa about 20 years ago (January 3, 1989.)



2. As soon as they established their company and began hiring people, they set up a Human Resource office in their company which dealt with interviewing and clearing potential employees.



3. At that time, the minimum wage in Iowa was about $3.00 and the Rubashkin’s hired their starting workers at $5.00 an hour. Over the years they also developed a health insurance plan for all of the workers in their plant, which was partially subsidized by the company and partially through payments by the individual workers. The health plan included the entire family and it also included dental care.



4. After a year of work in the Rubashkin factory, every worker was entitled two weeks paid vacation and the company always had a policy of paying proper overtime to anyone who worked over 40 hours a week.



5. About 7 years ago, a turkey slaughter house which was operating on the other side of the tracks went out of business and several workers from that plant applied for employment at Rubashkin’s plant. Among them were a few workers from South America. All of them were processed the same way as previous workers, through the Human Resource office of Rubashkin.



6. However, it was at this point that more and more workers from South America began to seek employment at Rubashkin’s plant. The documentation that these people brought to the meat plant was checked by the Human Resource office and it was the same documentation they used to get a driver’s license, to rent an apartment, to register their children in school and to establish their bank accounts. So that any immigrants who worked in Rubashkin’s plant was also being recognized by a half a dozen other businesses and government agencies based on the same documentation that was presented to Rubashkin.



7. It was a little after that time that the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union began to agitate in the Rubashkin factory and tried to unionize the workers. However, over the years, as much as they tried, they were never able to get 50% percent of the workers to request unionization and, therefore, they never had an opportunity to have a factory wide vote on unionization. This reality gave the union cause for wanting to harm the Rubashkin plant.



8. The community in Postville, Iowa has approximately one hundred Jewish families and through the Rubashkin’s efforts there are two Mikvahs, there are Shuls, there is an Elementary School for boys and girls, a High School including also a full-time Yeshiva Gedola which accepts students not only from the local families but also from all over the world.



9. Rabbi Weissmandel, from Monsey, who is in charge of the Kashrus at the Rubashkin plant has told people that he knows for a fact that the Rubashkin’s went out of their way to provide meat to various supermarket chains and other wholesalers at a loss when they knew that the meat would end up in the areas that otherwise could not get Kosher meat. One example of this was the nationwide chain of Trader Joe.



10. In May of 2008, the Immigration Authorities made a major raid on the Rubashkin plant and arrested approximately 390 people. These people were led away in chains and went through very difficult times in a legal process which was eventually customized to deal with them and their cases.

Note: The media reports at the time of the immigration arrests included allegations worker abuse – Now they are forgotten!

11. Various legal suits have been brought against the Rubashkin Company, as well as members of the Rubashkin family. Several managers of the company have also been arrested. From May until October all of these pressures against the company caused the company to try to restructure itself. The Schechita was interrupted, the regular cash flow was interrupted, many of the families in Postville did not receive their salaries and the Kosher meat supply in America was diminished so that there are some cities now in the United States where there is absolutely no Kosher meat available.



12. During this time, it became necessary for the company to declare (Chapter 11) bankruptcy and is currently under the Trustee appointed by the bankruptcy court. Shechita has begun in a limited fashion. Some of the families have begun to receive their pay-checks and the Trustee is hoping to bring the factory and the plant back to some form of normal operation. However, the legal suits against the company and against the family are continuing. During that period from May to October, the family worked diligently and feverishly to try to put together funds in order to save the company and to keep things moving. As a result of that, millions of dollars were lost because of legal fees and because of the bleeding of the funds to pay people, to keep the plant going, even though they could not Shecht the sufficient amount of meat, etc. Eventually, all of the family savings were used up in these financial and legal maneuvers so that by the time the very serious blow to the family came along, they were simply unable to put together sufficient legal funds to put together a viable legal team to defend the company and to defend the family members.



13. At the end of October, Sholom Rubashkin, President of Agriprocessors was arrested on financial charges which according to many legal experts are usually put into a civil suit. However, in his case the government decided to pursue the case as a criminal case, and so he was jailed and was denied bail on his initial request for bail. At a subsequent hearing, the Federal prosecutors in Iowa introduced the concept that since Sholom Rubashkin is a Jew and since the State of Israel has a law of return which gives citizenship to any Jew who wishes to settle in Israel, therefore Sholom Rubashkin would be a flight risk. In his ruling, the judge accepted the possibility of flight risk, and he did not allow Sholom Rubashkin to be freed on bail.



14. Legal scholars from across the United States and overseas are amazed and shocked at this strange misapplication of American law. The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides for fair bail and establishes the concept that a person is innocent until he is proved guilty and that he has the right to be free on bail until he enters the system and is brought to trial. The absurd idea to keep a Jew in jail because he might run away to Israel has been disproved many times by many cases in the past. The legal team working for Sholom Rubashkin has submitted memorandum on various levels of the legal system in Iowa and we are praying that at the next hearing the reality of the situation will be recognized and that Sholom Rubashkin will be allowed out on bail. The family has offered more than sufficient financial guarantees, as well as other specifics to satisfy the judge’s fears that Sholom might be a flight risk.



15. The Rubashkin family has proudly been a contributing force in American Jewish life for several generations. Despite the difficulties that the family had in communist Russia and the difficulty it had in enduring the inhumane sufferings of the Holocaust, in America they have established themselves and have been at the giving end of Jewish society and Jewish community for over fifty years. The generosity of the Rubashkin’s is well known all across America. Their restaurant on 13th Avenue which was one of the first Glatt Kosher restaurants in Borough Park has a tradition of providing free meals to indigent and poor people in a respectful and in a discreet fashion. The Rubashkin’s are known for their generosity and their Tzedakah.



16. Sholom Rubashkin devoted his personal attention to the Jewish community in Postville, Iowa and went out of his way and spent immeasurable sums of money to see to it that all of the needs in the Jewish community would be taken care and that the Jewish families who came to live in Postville would be able to enjoy a rich, Chassidishe lifestyle in the center of mid-Western America. The Rubashkin Company went out of its way to make every effort to provide Kosher meat to Jews all over the world so that from South Padre Island, Texas to Vancouver Island, to Bangor, Maine to Shanghai and to the South Pole, you were able to obtain Kosher food, and Kosher meat because of the efforts of the Rubashkin family, very often at a great loss to themselves.



17. The charges brought against the Rubashkin family generally would fit either into the framework of financial problems or bookkeeping discrepancies, certainly not anything of a criminal nature.



18. Furthermore, the question of hiring non-documented immigrants is a question that faces every business in America. There are millions of non-documented immigrants who work in factories across the United States and in businesses across the United States. All of those millions did not work in Postville Iowa. Despite the best efforts of the Rubashkin family to make sure that all of their employees were properly documented, it did turn out that some of them had obtained their papers in an improper fashion but this was not the fault of the Rubashkin family or the Rubashkin business.



19. What we must do now is:
1. We have to spread the word that the Rubashkin meat business was not only a business, but it was also a force for Kosher food in America and that the American Jewish community needs this business to thrive and to continue to produce and to provide Kosher meat all over the United States.
2. We have to let the world know that members of the Rubashkin family who were involved in the business devoted their lives not only to the development of their business but also to the development of the Jewish community in Iowa and across the United States. Through their charity, through their community involvement, through their personal care for Jews in need they were always at the forefront of the “givers” in the Jewish community.
3. The issue of keeping a Jew in jail and not allowing him on bail is a disgrace to the history of America, to the history of our Constitution and to the basis of justice and liberty upon which the United States stands and it is incumbent upon everyone in America to think about this injustice that is being perpetrated against this individual, Sholom Rubashkin, in Iowa and we have to approach our elected officials, the Justice Department of the United States and urge them to enforce the laws of America properly and to see to it that Sholom Rubashkin is freed on bail according to the laws of Human Rights in the United States.
4. We have to raise funds to help the legal teams.

49 comments:

TP3 said...

PROPOGANDA!

tp3 said...

and whos deep throat??

The Real Shliach said...

A. What's your point?

B. Who is TP3?

tp3 said...

a None b me

The Real Shliach said...

b: It's helpful comments like that which cement my belief in humanity.

TP3 said...

now who is deep throat

The Real Shliach said...

When I have your email address you can have his.

tp3 said...

Promise?

The Real Shliach said...

We'll have to see how legit your email is, but yes, if everything's on the line, then your dreams will be fulfilled.

tp3 said...

You know my email address. i am your fav shabbat violator. now spill the beans.

Nemo said...

OMG, this is a load of blatant hogwash. Whoever wrote this shit has no clue about what happened at Rubashkins or what the charges are, much less the underlying legal issues. This was presumably written by some biased family member. Here are some points for discussion:

1. The writer completely SKIPS the fact that Sholom R. was arrested for harboring aliens and forging documentation.

2. He was released on bail from his first arrest, during which time he tampered with evidence - a crime and a violation of his release.

3. Rubashkin was subsequently arrested for bank fraud, which is a CRIME, not a civil matter.

4. Rubashkin was denied bail from his second release because of his violation of his previous bail release and because there is reason to believe that he is a flight risk (a bag full of money and passports were found outside of an empty safe).

5. As an additional factor in proving Rubashkin's being a flight risk, the government cited (perhaps prejudicely and wrongly) the Law of Return.

The Real Shliach said...

Blame Deep Throat, not me. I just published this for him.

e said...

Yes! Our legal scholar reappears, shedding light and truth on issues which others wish to make murky with their misplaced religious zealousness!

The Real Shliach said...

Misplaced? All they want is some hamburgers.

e said...

trs: if i sent you the stuff from failedmessiah.com (for example) would you put it up?

The Real Shliach said...

Probably not.

Nemo said...

I just can't believe the dishonesty of this article.

e said...

aha! So you take responsibility for what goes on here! Then accept responsibility for this crap! (I think I got over my thing for hyphens! The next big thing is exclamation points!)

e said...

nemo, It's all for the sake of protecting a fellow yid, a big ba'al tzedaka

e said...

and to make sure that we keep getting our hamburgers

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: Deal with it. You're a big boy.

e: I hate exclamation points.

Nemo said...

E: there is no maayla in lying to the choir, who will no doubt use these sort of talking points in publicly defending the Rubashkin company.

e said...

trs, !!!!! Don't worry, this obsession won't last. exclamation points are not classy. As Lynn truss writes, and as I have quotes on this blog, the exclamation point is like the little brother with ADD

e said...

In the mind of deep throat there is. He and his ilk hope to spread what they think to be the truth throughout the blogosphere and help their buddies.

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: If we don't defend them, who will?

e: I hope you get over it soon, and switch to something else.

e said...

trs: nobody will. they don't need ot be defended. they're criminals. and if they aren't then the court will vindicate them

The Real Shliach said...

The court of public opinion is just as important.

e said...

The court of publoc opinion deserves facts

The Real Shliach said...

It's never gotten them before, why should now be any different?

Nemo said...

TRS: I don't know how to settle this ... I have a hard time feeling bad for a guy that walks out of jail and immediately gets busted destroying evidence.

Why should he be defended in the court of public opinion? Why should anyone send him legal defense money?

The Real Shliach said...

You think I have all the answers in the world? He's a Jew, I'm a Jew. He's a Lubavitcher, I'm a Lubavitcher. He messed up? I also do.

e said...

If you were a snag, would you defend kolko? "He's a Jew; I'm a Jew. He's a Snag; I'm (hypothetically) a snag. He messed up; I mess up"

Be logical, not emotional.

The Real Shliach said...

Who did Rubashkin hurt exactly? Has anyone been emotionally scarred? Believe you me, any Lubav who's a child molester should go to prison and get gang-raped repeatedly.

e said...

pullez. he harmed his workers and his lenders. The Torah talks about honesty and kindness to the downtrodden more than it talks abouit not molesting children...

Nemo said...

It doesn't help his case to spread lies when those likely to read something like this can see the big blank between points 12 and 13.

You want to defend him publically? Diminish the crime, justify what he did, say that it wasn't as bad as it is being made out to be. But don't waste the public's sympathy by telling lies and half-truths.

Not to mention all the other irrelevancies in this piece.

Nemo said...

Actually, isn't the Torah ok with molesting children, at least when they're under two years old?

e said...

I'm sure you know the answer to that one.

The Real Shliach said...

Whatever people, go hang out with Shmarya. Deep Throat asked me to blog about this, I wasn't interested, but I posted it as a favor to him. You really want to argue, you have his email.

e said...

Aha! He caveth in.

Nemo said...

Is he the original author?

The Real Shliach said...

He merely tireth. Whenever the entire Lubavitch is talking about something, I could care less about it. There are enough morons out there who are happy to argue it out, why should I?

The Real Shliach said...

No, this is official Merkos/Aguch/Machne Israel shtuff.

e said...

I don't think so. I think by now corporate chabad is not defending rubashkin too strenuously.

The Real Shliach said...

Last ditch effort?

Anonymous said...

dear trs,
please do not quote people that have provocative nicknames. the quality of this very informative blog will thus not be diminished
big fan

The Real Shliach said...

Who did I quote with a provocative nickname?
Otherwise, thanks for the compliments.

Downpressor said...

Wow, that was a highly emotionally manipulative post with very selective presentation of the facts. Also by choosing to call the source "Deep Throat" the poster is being a bit manipulative as well. By evoking the memory of the (recently deceased) Watergate source, the poster implies that this op-ed contains some secret truth.

Begging for support with only an emotional appeal in matters which involve criminal charges doesnt seem right to me.

The Real Shliach said...

Someone asked me to blog on this issue based on this broadsheet. I was too lazy, so I just published the whole thing instead. I made a joke and called my source "Deep Throat".
That's all.

EndOfWorld said...

btw, didn't rubashkin offer a nice package to ensure that he wouldn't flee? 24 hour surveillances, turning in passports, etc. doesnt that earn him some brownie points?