Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Name Hijacking Scammers From Hell

I mentioned in my previous post about getting another scam email in my junk folders lately. Such was the case with this, which was brief, and it was the name listed more than anything else that made me want to look more into it.

I, Friedrich Mayrhofer Donate $ 1,000,000.00 to You, Email Me
personally for more details.

  this is the second time i am writing you do email me back if
you receive my first mail to you.


Friedrich Mayrhofer. It's the sort of name you expect perhaps belonging to someone who's managed to avoid war crimes prosecution for seventy years. Actually, it's not. I checked the name, and it turns out that Mr. Mayrhofer is a Canadian who a year or so back won one of the lotteries here with two family members. Furthermore, there are a number of articles in newspapers when you've checked his name indicating that someone out there has co-opted his name for the purposes of internet scamming. It has nothing at all to do with the man himself.

So of course this is a scammer. While it's short and completely devoid of the usual scammer stories by a widow/ daughter/ secretary/ confessor/ bartender of the late dear husband/ benevolent tyrant/ general/ righteous minister/ drug lord, it originates from the same circle of demented scammers in some third world hellhole. It starts with the email address itself, which upon looking at country codes for internet email turns out to originate in Morocco. That's kind of a long way away from Canada, but in the right part of the world for the vilest of the vile (no, not the Dancing With The Stars production, though they are revolting): internet scammers.

And then there are the usual tell tales of a scammer who's not really working with English as their first language. The poor sentence structure and absence of punctuation where there should be punctuation. The capitalized words, like Donate, Email, Me- none of which should be capitalized. And the offer of a big amount of money to a complete stranger, with the details yet to come. All hallmarks of that wretch of a human being, your typical internet scammer.

And now here they are, dragging a lottery winner's name through the mud.

Do they have some sort of quota? Like "one dumb sucker believing this crap for every five thousand emails we send out?" Whoever they are, all I can say is this: rather than continue with this line of work, why don't you go out and relax? 

Go skydiving. Without a parachute.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Scammers With A Side Of Egg Roll

They never do go away, do they? I refer of course to the vilest of the vile, the most despicable lot out there on the dark fringes of the Net. Yes, the scammers and spammers. They flood our junk mail with spam for crap we don't want, like knock off luggage, insurance, and dubious escort agencies. And they mass email to thousands of people the exact same message, hoping there's someone dumb enough to buy into their scam. I received a couple of these recently, and will be covering them over the next couple of posts. The first was this one, sent to my email and ending up in the junk email.

I hope this email finds you well. I want to establish a business and investment partnership with you if you are interested and capable. I am Zheng Changbo, Assistant President of CNOOC New Energy Investment Co., Ltd. Chairman and General manager of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China and a mega government owned company. You may check my profile on the web. In a nutshell, I am willing to discuss the possibility of establishing a Joint investment cooperation in your country and under your commitment. I will be pleased to explain my investment ideas in detail on hearing from you. Most Importantly, I want our possible future business to be carried out legally and transparently. Best Regard ____________ Mr. Zheng Changbo Assistant President,Chairman and General Manager CNOOC New Energy Investment Co., Ltd. No.25 Chaoyangmenbei Dajie,Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010 P.R China.

Looking around, one can find out that there actually was a Zheng Changbo in that position with CNOOC. Only he's not in that position now, having had left earlier this year. So that's one big hint that this Zheng is a fake, seeing as how he's claiming he's still there. Another hint? His email address, an Outlook email, is suspicious. China has numerous email providers- Outlook doesn't even rate in the top five of them. Surely an actual executive would have an actual email address more or less fitting with his country's providers, right?

Whoever he is, our scammer tries to impress the reader with lots of titles for his fake facade, inviting us to check him out on the Web. Well, I did, and that very same message turns up in scam warning posts. You can see some of the hallmarks of the typical internet scammer too. Capitalizing words that don't need to be capitalized, like Joint, or not getting a capital M on the word manager. And of course "I want our possible future business to be carried out legally and transparently", a typical tactic by a scammer to assure that everything is on the up and up- even though it certainly is anything but.

Uh huh. Sure. Whatever you say. Even if you were real, which you are not, why on earth would I want to do business with anyone who cold-emails total strangers? And why on earth would I want to do business with a company representing a government I find repugnant?

Two events come to mind that provide all the reason I'd ever need to object to investing in China: Tiananmen Square and Tibet. 

And then there's that whole problem with the Chinese government thinking that respect means everyone else in the world has to defer to you. Rather arrogant, you know. And off putting. 

Nice try, Zheng, or whoever you really are. Maybe someone out there really is dumb enough to fall for your bull. For me, I'd just as soon rather see you get what's coming to you. Like seeing you tied up to fireworks and launched into the night sky at Chinese New Years.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Breaking Out Of The Big House

Well, that's done. I'm free and clear. Out of the joint. On the lam. Released from the cooler. Yesterday I was released from thirty days in stir (otherwise known as thirty days of totally wrongful and unjustified suspension) from Facebook Jail. Or as I like to call it, the Chateau d'If. It was time well spent, mind you. This American pilot was in his cell throwing baseballs against the wall and asking what I know about moles. An old priest was helping me dig my way out and making mention of a treasure in a place called Monte Cristo. And Morgan Freeman was narrating the whole escape sequence.

It had been quite awhile since my last suspension, but I've been suspended before from Facebook. Each time it was for violating their so called "community standards". Each of those times I would swear up and down that I never came close to violating their community standards. That said, Facebook offers no avenue of appeal, and offers only silence to any objection to a suspension. They throw you out without so much as a second thought and never respond in any meaningful way. In the long run, that sort of thing is going to wind up destroying the site. Just putting that out there.

In those thirty days, I was restricted to viewing only. No posting, no likes, no messages. I know I've missed several birthdays. During a previous suspension, I even missed my own birthday- the height of irony, getting the automatic message from the dirtbags who suspended me in the first place: a happy birthday greetings from Facebook. 

This particular time, as I mentioned in a post earlier this month, it was for insulting a member of Ford Nation (come to think of it, a previous suspension had been for insulting another Ford Nationite). But the remark in question didn't come close to violating their community standards. To be honest, if you were going to throw me out, the other guy's remarks were worse, and would have warranted the same. But no, if you're a repeat offender (totally unwarranted, again, I'm just saying), Facebook tells you in their own way to go fuck yourself and tosses you out for a month. Or more. 

The community standards, of course, are a joke, a two faced hypocrisy. I've lost track of how many times I've reported remarks that have crossed the line, and yet in Facebook's opinion... "that does not violate our community standards." I've seen white supremacists, racists, bigots, and all sorts of hate mongering filth get away with whatever they want to say. Take this, for instance. 

"Whites are always gonna be the dominant race and everyone is hating on that fact. Call us racists all you want, fix your own situations before blaming the whites for ur problems (see Africa)"

That comment comes from an accountant of all things in my home town. And yet Facebook finds that comment perfectly acceptable. A comment that a white supremacist would love. Let's face it, the guy is a white supremacist. We've got a few of those extremist organizations up here too, unfortunately.

But he gets a pass from Facebook, which persists in throwing people out for no just cause, without so much as an opportunity to object or argue against it. It is nothing more than rank, two faced hypocrisy.

I know where the impulse to be snarky with jerks, twits, and knuckle-dragging buffoons comes from. The plain fact is that I spent far too much time being civil to assholes (the various exes of my sisters come to mind, and let's be honest, there are good reasons I'd prefer to never speak to my sisters themselves either, so they qualify for the title too). And that was all for naught.

So these days I don't see the point in being civil to assholes and biting my tongue.

Especially when it's so much more fun treating them with the derision and contempt they deserve.

I suppose it's just a matter of time before I get suspended again, and surely there'll be a betting pool running on how long that takes. I'm not surprised when it happens. This is the nature of what the site has become. It proclaims itself a social network and yet proving to be anything but. It throws one person out without cause, while giving free rein to hate mongerers. Sidewinding, two faced, sanctimonious hypocrites.

To Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the hypocritical howling jackals at Facebook, I can only sum up things in this way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And now we come to see what the cat thinks of all this. Your Majesty? The floor is yours.

7:21 AM. Waking up at home. Taking a big stretch. One of those is essential to starting the day off right, after all. To be followed by the first orders of the day to the staff. Which reminds me, where is the staff?

7:24 AM. The sounds from upstairs indicate the staff is showering. I am therefore killing time staring out the window at my lawn and brooding. There are far too many flying lunches on my lawn. I shall have to take the initiative about that post haste.

7:31 AM. The staff finally makes her way downstairs. I deliver greetings by way of a head bonk to the leg. Well, it’s about time, staff. Now then, have you put any thought into my breakfast? Because I have had not so much as a bite to eat since last evening.

7:35 AM. The staff delivers my breakfast in the form of a bowl of chicken with a side of milk. And for whatever reason she thinks a bowl of field rations are perfectly acceptable on the side. I make a point of ignoring the field rations as I dive into the task of eating the chicken. Tastes like flying lunches.

7:37 AM. Finished breakfast. Setting aside the field rations in case I get desperate later in the day.

7:46 AM. Circling around the staff’s legs while she’s having breakfast. She’s staying home today, so that means she gets to spoil me rotten all day long and attend to my every hope, dream, and personal whim.

7:49 AM. Staring outside the window. I can hear the distant barking of that annoying mutt. Staff, would you mind opening the door? I feel like glowering a bit on my deck if that vile hound shows up here soon.

7:57 AM. Sitting out on the deck, watching my property. No sign of the mutt. Rather warm today. You know, it wouldn’t hurt to have myself forty winks or so, right? Even if I’ve only been awake barely an hour. As I always say, you can never have too many naps.

8:20 AM. Lightly dozing. Semi-aware of my surroundings. More interested in keeping my eyes closed and dozing.

8:22 AM. Suddenly startled to full wakefulness by the boom of a very large bark. I jump upright on the deck, turn, and there’s that irritating mutt looking like he’s laughing at something he finds hilarious. 

8:23 AM. Chasing that annoying dog off my property, driven by pure rage and kitty vindictiveness. How dare you interrupt my forty winks! Come back here, you vile canine! Just take what you’ve more than got coming to you!

8:25 AM. The dog has retreated into the woods. I stop where I am and express my fury with an exceptional amount of hissing. Somewhere along the line I cast doubts on his parentage and use a few choice curse words.

8:27 AM. Heading back out of the woods, in a thoroughly foul mood. Dogs!

8:30 AM. Demanding loudly that the staff let me back in. Right now, staff!

8:31 AM. Staff, have I told you how annoying dogs are? Because they really are.

8:33 AM. The staff gives me a scratch and rub just under the chin, right where she knows I like that. Suddenly all that thoroughly foul mood I was in just melts away. Very well done, staff, very well done indeed.

8:56 AM. Settling down for a nap. Staff, wake me up if you’re having an early lunch.

11:32 AM. Awake. Too early for lunch. Speaking of lunch, are there any of those flying lunches out on my lawn?

12:03 PM. Lunch with the staff. She gives me slices of ham and mozzarella. Very good, staff.

1:16 PM. Chasing some of those flying lunches away from my lawn. If you guys didn’t have fast wings, you’d be an afternoon snack right about now.

1:25 PM. Trying to catch some dragonflies as they dart about. The staff is watching me. She says something about leaving them alone, since they eat those pesky mosquitoes. Yes, well, staff, that’s easy for you to say, but you don’t have a pounce instinct. All cats come equipped with one of those with a lifetime warranty.

4:37 PM. Waking up from my latest nap. Feeling refreshed and eager to see what kind of mischief I can get into.

5:49 PM. Supervising the staff while she’s making dinner. It smells good, if you ask me, and of course you are asking me, because who else am I talking to right now? Or is that too metaphysical and fourth wall breaking for you to deal with?

6:22 PM. Dinner with the staff. Some nice steak chunks appeal to me greatly.

7:59 PM. Launching an all out assault on the scratching post. The staff asks if I got into the catnip.

11:33 PM. The staff is on her way and off to bed. Good night, staff. I’ll stay down here for now. Do be a dear and keep the door open. Just in case I want to come on up and jump on top of you at four in the morning for the third time this week.