Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Wound In The Heart

Today I make use of this blog for photography, and a more somber tone than is usually the case here. Flags at half mast: a sign of mourning and commemoration. This was taken yesterday outside one of the federal office buildings downtown in Ottawa.

 Several days ago it came out in the media. 215 bodies found: children. Buried at the site of a former residential school at Kamloops, B.C.. The residential school system is a dark stain on Canadian history: the taking of generations of indigenous children by the government and put into schools run by the churches. It is a legacy we are still dealing with today, as the last of those schools closed in living memory. Indigenous people and communities still deal with the fallout of trauma, abuse, and neglect. All in a program meant to "get the Indian out of them."

215 innocent children. Taken from families, from what they knew and loved, never to return. It is heartbreaking and infuriating and... the worst part is  that you just know there are more bodies out there. Buried in ummarked graves far from their homes and families. Victims  of a system that strove to stamp out who they are.

Other bloggers have already addressed this. I wasn't sure if I could. I know I don't have the eloquence for it. To call it a tragedy isn't sufficient. Nor are apologies sufficient. Speaking for myself, I  feel ashamed of my country.

So what's to be done? First, those children need to be returned to their homelands to rest among their people. Then every other residential school must be examined. Because there are more graves out there. And those children must be sent home. After that? There were people who knew. And didn't care. People still alive. They must be held to account. This is a terrible wrong that must be made right.

Flags have been at half last for days: one hour for each of these 215. And on Parliament Hill, around and beyond the Centennial Flame, is a growing commemoration. Messages, photos, indigenous items... and toys.... and children's  shoes. I leave the images to say the rest.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Scammer Of The Frontier

 No matter what we do, they don't give up. They don't take a hint and go away. They don't grasp the meaning of drop dead. They can't do the world a favour and hold their breath until their heart stops. And more's the pity, because the world would be better off without them in it. I speak of course, of the standard homo sapiens spammeritis irritatingus, a particular variant of the human race that makes one roll their eyes and ask if this is all some big cosmic joke. Such as the following, which turned up in my junk email a few days ago. I'm pretty sure I've seen this copy and paste form letter nonsense before.

Dear Friend.

As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday.

My name is Peter Lawson,a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E.I have been diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer which was discovered very late,due to my laxity in carrying for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it.

Now that God ! has called me, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends. I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so, I have decided to give arms to charity organizations and give succour and confort to the less priviledged in our societies, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.

So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the U.A.E, Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this my self anymore. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization and to the less priviledged in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.

The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of twenty four million dollars that I have with a Security Company in Europe for safe keeping. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and disburse it to some charity organizations and to the less priviledged.

Please send me a mail to indicate if you will assist me in this disbursement.

I have set aside 10% for you for your time and patience.

You can e-mail me

While I await to hear from you, may God be with you and your entire family.

Remain blessed.

Mr.Peter Lawson

So where do I start with this one? How about at the beginning, with the "dear friend" greeting. First off, I'm not your friend. Why? Because you're an asshole, and I dislike assholes. So don't start calling me your friend. It's presumptuous and annoying, and it's not going to happen.

Our boy claims to be a merchant in Dubai, with the name Peter Lawson, which doesn't sound like the kind of name you'd find in Dubai. He, she, or it then proceeds to do some of the usual internet scammer tricks of the trade- the sob story, the capitalizing words that don't need to be capitalized, the punctuation and spacing issues, and speaking in an overly formal way that suggests we're not dealing with a regular speaker of the English language.

He claims he has "Esophageal Cancer"- again, no need for the capital letters. He uses the term "carrying for my health" and "defiled all forms of medicine". Are you carrying your health? As for defiled, well, you're defiling the English language. 

He claims that he's very rich (of course), but has not led a good life, being "always hostile to people". Well, I can understand hostile. I'm hostile to you, jackass, and I don't even know you.

He claims he's turned his life around and has willed money to family and friends, but wants to get rid of the rest of it, to the 'less priviledged.' You'd think that someone who was as obscenely rich as this 'merchant' of Dubai claims to be would have some grasp of English. But no.

And then he dangles the 24 million dollar bait, with a ten percent retainer fee for my time and patience, if I distribute that cash to the needy. Of course. Because he expects us to believe that rich millionaires halfway around the world are going to be spending their dying days pleading with strangers on the other side of the planet to help them do good work with the totally non-existent money they've got. 

Uh huh. Yes, I've heard that before. I'll hear it again. 

Nice try, numbskull. Perhaps someone on that list of five hundred thousand or a million emails you're randomly sending off to will take the bait. And send off the inevitable 'banking fee' of a couple grand to get things started, before realizing a few days later they got hustled by a hustler. But not me.

No, I've seen this nonsense too many times. If you really were dying of cancer (you're not), I would say two things. First: good. And second: hopefully it would be the sort of cancer that would have you screaming in pain, unable to respond to pain killers. 

Because the cancer scam is low. Real low. 

But typical of you.

I suggest in the meantime that you go take a swim.

In a lake with a hungry crocodile.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Curse Of An Internet Troll

There is of course the sort of spammer I mentioned in my last post: the mass email spamming waste of space passing off a sob story (badly) as a legitimate front for their scam. They're good for ridicule, but not much else. And then there's another kind of spammer. The sort who leaves inane, pointless comments in a post. More often then not it's just spamming their own website. Easily gotten rid of. Just banished to the netherworld limbo of spam comments where they belong.

But then there's a particularly vile sort of spammer, leaving comments that are on a level all their own. Since Covid started there's been someone (or someones) out there leaving the same copy and paste sort of comment, sometimes here or on my photoblog. One such comment was left in the last post and swiftly banished to spam comment limbo. The same person, always anonymous with no website to go back to, has left that very same comment from time to time on other blogs I follow. You've probably seen them before the blog author has a chance to delete them. Here's the comment from this internet troll, quoted verbatim, from before I sent it off to spam comment purgatory, left here in the last post. Apologies in advance, as I'll be using some coarse language in reply, but then again, he deserves it.

i can't wait for the vaccines to kill off the boomers. There have been a shitload of deaths, at least 200,000 so far, related to the vaccines. Obviously the media isn't gonna talk about this. You boomers wanted to destroy your own children's future, well guess what, YOU are the ones being destroyed now. Boomers are living in terror and horror now, and this is their karma for ruining their own children and grand children's lives and futures. And even if the vaccine doesn't get you, the doctors are openly calling everything "covid19" now and ramming tubes down boomer's throats and putting them on death machines known as "ventilators". Either way, you boomers are fucked. You are the most evil generation to ever exist. You get what you deserve, boomer scum!

Ah, yes. This is routine for this 'person'. I put person in quotations, because as far as a human being goes, this extremely enraged jackass is a pretty lousy excuse for one. They do say you shouldn't feed an internet troll.... but I can't resist. I see someone this stupid, and I just have to slap them upside the head. So where do I begin? 

First off, by saying I'm not a boomer. I'm part of Generation X. 

That's right, dumbass. When you mass copy and paste the exact same comment into countless blogs whose authors aren't interested in your anger... you might want to consider that not everyone you're spamming is in the age category you've got such a grudge against.

And it is quite a grudge. Look, I get it. You're frustrated, and you want to take it out on the Baby Boomers. Fine.  You could do so constructively on your own blog (which doesn't exist, because you're a coward too afraid to actually comment as anything but Anonymous). You could make an argument in a thoughtful way about boomers being self absorbed, how they've had everything handed to them, how it's so much harder now to get things done. It would be full of generalizations, half truths, and inaccuracies, but at the very least you'd be expressing your frustrations like a human being. 

As opposed to being the world's biggest crybaby.

No, that's what you are and what you do. You take this whole thing we're dealing with- Covid. And you vent and you rage and you howl at the moon. You blame boomers for everything, you get on the anti-vaccination crazy train by hoping vaccines kill off all the boomers (I seem to recall that when you started this rage-storm of bullshit commentary, you were hoping Covid would kill off all the boomers), and you spout inaccuracies and conspiracy theories. You scream about boomers ruining their children and grandchildren, how they're living in horror and terror, and blather on about how doctors are calling everything Covid-19 now, and how ventilators are death machines. And somewhere in that feeble brain of yours you're saying that the boomers are fucked, that they are the most evil generation that ever existed, and they get what they deserve.

Wow. I mean, really.

Somebody needs anger management therapy.

Or to just get the shit kicked out of them on principle.

You're mad, man (and let's face it, whoever this gutless anonymous coward is, this is definitely a man). You're angry at the world, screaming and no one's hearing you. You think the world owes you, and you resent like hell that people are carrying on their lives without your say so. And so you take out your rage on baby boomers. I'll assume your parents are boomers, and maybe that's all part of it. Whatever it is, you're mad at the universe in general, and at boomers in particular.

And then there's the other thing: you're a coward.

Yes, a coward. You comment anonymously. Because you're such a pathetic, ineffectual excuse for a human being that you can't abide the thought of someone coming into your personal space and calling you out for what you are. A gutless fucking coward. That's what you are. 

And I find it hilarious that a rage-storm impending shooting spree such as yourself has the gall to talk about karma. There's good karma and bad karma. And someone so filled with such anger and hostility at the world is going to get the latter. Maybe it's about more than being angry at boomers. Maybe it's you're pissed off at the universe for the fact that you were born. But you've got a whole lot of anger inside you, and you take it out by randomly commenting the exact same load of bile, venom, and bullshit on blogs of people who don't know you, and frankly don't care one bit about you.

And you talk about karma?

Be careful what you wish for. Karma may someday soon come and treat you as you deserve. Badly.

So you've got it in for boomers. No doubt you blame them for the state of your life. After all, you've got failure written all over you, pal. It's in every word you write. Failure. 

But guess what? Boomers aren't the reason for you being a failure. The person you should blame for the clusterfuck that is your life? It's you. You're the only person to blame for the utter misery that is every single day of your life. You're the reason everyone who knows you in real life hates you. You're the reason, o hater of boomers.... that you are such a useless, worthless, vile repugnance. You're the reason why when you are no longer alive, no one who ever knew you will miss you. They'll just shrug and say good riddance.

Again: you. Just you. Nobody else but you.

Now, you can come to grips with that. Grow the fuck up, calm the fuck down, get help for that serious temper you've got, lose the conspiracy theory bullshit mindset you've got.... and start taking responsibility for your failures as a human being. 

But let's face it, that would take a level of self realization and self awareness that a fucked up jackass like yourself just doesn't have. 

So in closing, I'll leave it to this guy to sum up my opinion where you're concerned.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Return Of A Cancer Widow

They are a blight upon the planet. A scourge of our times. Nostradamus didn't see anything as irritating as them coming. I speak of course of the endless hordes of spammers and internet scammers infesting our junk email on a regular basis. They never give up. They send the same ridiculous email to hundreds of thousands of email accounts. Maybe five people of those are dumb enough to believe it. Such as the following bit of nonsense that turned up in my email one day.

Ivory Coast office.
Avenue 16 rue 22 Greenville
Abidjan middle africa. 

Hi. Blessed Executive Mayor

Greetings From The Safe Life's Foundation International The Children's Centers,

We hope this message finds you and those you love safe during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. 

The past few weeks have been especially difficult as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on our lives.

At the same time, though, the challenges we’ve faced together have brought the best out of people in this community, and when we asked for support to help us meet the needs of people with disabilities, veterans and seniors this Giving season, the response was nothing short of inspiring.

This Safe life's community’s generosity is helping The Foundation  to continue to provide the critical programs and services we offer to the disability community. 

It’s allowing us to adapt to the evolving challenges this pandemic presents, such as providing critical health services to children and adults through technology, as well as signing a National Call to Action asking that federal and state governments ensure that the needs of people with disabilities are met during this crisis.

Our No. 1 priority remains: ensuring that the children and adults we serve can continue to access the care they need while keeping them, their families and our staff safe.

And because the coronavirus presents an especially high risk to people with disabilities, older adults and others with complex medical conditions, 

We are humble harmony love care attention and above all true love that keeps the children's candles burning,

Please help us safe life's beyond boarders honestly this is costing us alot more here millions in USD. 

Beloved executives your generous donations will go a long way toward ensuring Safe Life's Foundations can continue these critical services and more during this crisis. 

Our infows account details will be at your disposal upon your response.

Be safe during this challenging time! We truly are all in this together.

Dr, Solomon Bernard,
Senior Vice President, , Communications and Corporate Relations
The Safe Life's Foundation International, 

Of course, some of the same tell tales of the usual spammers show themselves. Let's start geographically. For a person who claims to be from Africa, they can't be bothered to put a capital when writing out the name of their continent. And "middle africa"? How is that a place? Who uses that term? Yes, Abidjan is a real place. In Ivory Coast. Which is on the west coast of the continent, not this 'middle africa' that they want us to see themselves as in. 

Then there's the greeting: "Hi. Blessed Executive Mayor." All capitalized letters. First, if you're actually writing a formal letter, you don't start with "Hi." Second, I'm not a mayor. And even so, calling a mayor blessed executive isn't done.

They evoke an organization- Safe Life Foundation International. A quick glance online indicates an organization of that name out of India. One imagines that the real Safe Life Foundation is much more than a scam. But they evoke the name, blather on about the pandemic, naming a few good causes they're supposedly involved in- veterans, seniors, people with disabilities. 

All while starting off with The Childrens Centres as part of their fake title. Make your minds up, people, which constituency are you trying to pass off as your totally fake charity benefiting for?

They capitalize words that don't need it, misspell other words. They do the usual spiel about their good work, and fumble their way through phrasing. Honestly, does 'we are humble harmony love care attention and above all true love that keeps the children's candles burning' sound like it's written by someone with a reasonably educated mind?

I mean, honestly, "beyond boarders"? And "costing us alot more here millions in USD"? Do you honestly expect anyone to believe that? The totally fake name, "Doctor Solomon Bernard". It's always a doctor. Or a minister. Or a beloved widow of a benevolent general who now has cancer. When in fact it's none of those people at all behind these long form copy and paste spam- scams. 

Nice try, Doctor Solomon Bernard, or whatever the hell your real name is.

Maybe someone in that list of five hundred thousand random emails will be dumb enough to send a couple thousand bucks to your totally fake charity. Which you'll pocket before they realize what happened. But not me. I've seen guys like you before, and no doubt I'll see guys like you again. 

Here's a closing thought, spamming scammer: you are what's wrong with this world. The world will only be better for it when you're no longer in it.

In short, I leave it to a familiar grump to make a suggestion as to what you should do. Right now.