Friday, October 30, 2009

The Latest Wave of 419 Scams

Involve around a job offer.

Typically the pitch involves:

  • We are an international company

  • Would you like a lucrative and prestigious jobs

  • We need you to process payments

I never read them all the way through too closely but the scam sounds like you are to take payments, deposit them into you bank account, and then the "company" receives payment via your account. Of course "leaving" some for you.

However, anyone with half a brain cell understands if one does receive "payments" they will be "dud cheques" and the Nigerians on the other end will clean out your account for all it is worth.

I do not know if that would really be a 419 scam but it is pretty close and in any case it is still obviously fraudulent.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jerry Bader - The Mess He is In

I listen to a local talk show hosted by Jerry Bader on AM 1360. Recently he made a report on air and on his blog about a former Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin. I will not get into the details (you can see them by googling or following the link above). In any event he retracted his report and is now suspended for two weeks and WTAQ and its management is mulling Jerry's future with WTAQ.

The report was not widely discussed on the WI Blogs but James Wigderson made this initial post on the story. He is not so much passing it as fact but does note it had better be fact. However, the most interesting commentary is in in this post after Bader retracted the story:
Also interesting would have been a discussion of why the news organizations waited. They were not saints. WTMJ’s John Jagler wrote on Twitter, “the Barbara Lawton rumors have the entire media world freaking out. Who will be the first major news outlet to break it?”

When I tweeted back to him the link to Bader’s podcast, Jagler responded, “that’s not big enough”.

Not that WTAQ and Bader weren’t credible, or that Jagler didn’t believe what Bader said, or that they were trying to verify the story. Just that Jagler was hoping someone bigger would go with the story, prompting my sarcastic reply, “Really? That’s the excuse? (At this point I’ll refrain from making a joke about the shrinking of Journal Communications.)”

Source:Why blame the blogs? — Wigderson Pub & Library
That is, the news people at WTMJ wanted to run with the story but were afraid to they wanted to run with a herd.

Fear of bad consequences is an important human emotion it prevents people from receiving bad consequences.

I heard the original reports from Jerry on air and wondered what was really to be gained from public knowledge of the story? Lawton was out of the race and from what we all pretty much know I think it can be assumed at the very least there was tremendous pressure from Democratic bigs on her to withdraw from the race.

I like Jerry and if WTAQ sends him packing, I will simply stop listening to WTAQ, I don't even need WTAQ for the 11am - 2pm talk show host, because if I am feeling like Rush I usually pull Rush up via internet stream.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Unemployment Numbers

Reports state new unemployment filings continue to decline.

I expect to hear two diametrically opposed themes when the analyst and opinion makers get a hold of this story. One is Obama's stimulus is working. The other is Obama's stimulus is not working and the state controlled media is trying to spin what are awful stories into good stories.

I call BS on both.

Any trend before it can go in the reverse direction first has to slow down, stop, and then trend in the opposite direction. That is to say, before our economy can start adding jobs it must first lose jobs more slowly. In addition, we all have heard the arguments that unemployment is an awkward statistic. A person may fall out of the ranks of the unemployed because they have stopped looking, because their unemployment compensation is expired, or they have taken a new job. When a person gets a job, they just stop filing they don't give explicit alert to the change in their status. Pols, analysts, and economists then argue about the person's true status rather than knowing what it is.

Now, does Obama's stimulus have any hand in this reducing trend? Little if any, I see a crisis brought on by a bubble dynamic and it will take more than a sugar buzz to get us out of this situation.

Rushing the Rams -- Keith Olbermann for the Defense?

I heard this on the radio this morning and noted in another forum today. However, I got to thinking about this, as I heard very little about this today. However, I did a quick Google and sure enough Keith tagged the opponents of the Rush NFL deal as his third worst person of the day. From the report I link to, there is a bit of scoffing at how Rush is pouring good money down a hole but Olbermann is quoted as saying (and this quote IS attributed to a day & time and the link includes video):
"There are now going to be character tests for sports owners?" Olbermann said. "There will only be three of them left. Unless they beat the Vikings Sunday, as of next Thursday it will have been a full year since the Rams won a game. My God, if Limbaugh wants to buy them, far be it for me to tell them he's flushing his money down a rat hole."
Source: NewsBusters — Olbermann to Left-Wingers Opposed to Limbaugh’s Rams Purchase: Stand Down

As you can well imagine, I regard Keith Olbermann little, but I really salute him in this even if it is because he may be contemplating a similar purchase and does not want any bids of his own getting spiked because of his outspoken views.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rushing Rush

With that old play known as fake, but accurate and it works this time. Apparently, Rush is no longer part of the buyers group. This is interesting.

A few observations.

Many opposed noted how sports and athletics is a unifying thing and the last thing it needs is a divisive figure. Well, friends, it takes to two or more to be divisive. So, divisiveness as usual is defined as not agreeing with the left or perhaps at being an effective spokesmen against the left.

I find it quite interesting the left is peddling all of these horrible quotes. However, they can not provide any specifics. They talk and parrot two main lines (which I will not repeat) but can not provide any sourcing for those quotes. In fact, at least one quote appears to be originally attributed to Rush by some blogger. The left is now retreated to their fallback position of fake, but accurate.

As a long time listener of Rush (I don't listen to Rush all the time but often enough) I agree with the fake but strenuously disagree with accurate. Most of those in this fight against Rush do not listen to Rush and base their opinions on what is relayed to them by the mainstream mastodons.

The NFL is full of thugs and the commissioner reinstated Michael Vick (I supported Vick's reinstatement) which I remember seeing a lot of people in my social network disapprove of.

Fighting dogs we are okay with, fighting leftists we are not.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jack Voight for Outagamie County Executive

Hey now.

Back in June of '09 I noted how Jack Voight is planning to run for Outagamie County Executive. Well, this previous Saturday I received a mailing from his campaign and note this his campaign website at: Check it out!

Go Jack Go!

Friday, October 09, 2009

King Dollar is Not Well

There has been a lot of talk on the condition of the dollar. The dollar is declining in relative value to other stores of wealth. Gold is at record highs and Larry Kudlow notes with respect to gold S&P 500 has declined (S&P up 18% Gold up 21%).

Now, administrations often choose to pursue a strong dollar or a weak dollar policy. Weak dollar is good for exporters (US goods are more competitively priced) and strong dollars are good for those of us who consume foreign produced goods (spell it o-i-l). Within a given range we are looking at trading off one desirable end for another desirable end.

However, once the currency gets out of whack with others then bad things begin to happen. Last summer (summer of 2008) I paid close attention to the dollar as its state was frequently cited as one factor in the high price of gasoline. Yeah, at one time the US $ was on par or slighly weaker than the Canadian dollar (which in my previous trip north was trading at about 67 US cents to one Loonie). Then the full effects of the housing bubble burst took hold and the dollar strengthened up. Well since then we had an election , a new president, and a hard and determined push to greatly increase government spending. In addition, talk of replacing the dollar as the currency oil is traded in & are adding up to one thing people and nations are beginning to fear the serious devaluation of the dollar. To be sure, every time the dollar was low, OPEC always made noise about demanding something other than dollars but other nations are starting to join in this chorus.

The Prize

President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

There is not a whole lot to criticize President Obama about on this. I have seen reports the Whitehouse initially thought they were being punked. However, there are some neat comments out there poking fun at the Obamamania — that he will win the Cy Young award, he will win the Heisman Trophy, that he will win every 2012 Olympic gold medal, and so on.

However, when the laughing is done and it comes time to think about this, it is obvious this award is not serious. It did not just become "unserious" but this prize became unserious when Yasser Arafat won it (Jimmy Carter did IMO earn the award by brokering a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt which is an accomplishment despite the fact the treaty does not mean all that much either). Yasser Arafat won this prize and is an insult to genuine peace advocates who have received the prize and he is not the only such person on the list.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Repeating History

One of the cliches we all recognize as cliche by the time we are about 16 years old is those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. I got to thinking of that one, in light of a session I had of hunting down old blues music &$151; especially those tunes covered by the Grateful Dead. There are three songs covered by the Grateful Dead (however, one dropped out of their repertoire perhaps in the late '60s or early '70s, but one other definitely not, and the other was altered significantly enough to be distinct -- but is definitely based on Canon's work).

The original artist (AFAIK) is Gus Cannon a black banjo player from the early 20th century and he played a bluegrassey sort of blues music. The three songs are Viola Lee Blues, Big Railroad Blues, and the New Minglewood Blues. When searchlight for YouTube Grateful Dead renditions of Viola Lee Blues (there appears to be only one and that from the Monterrey Pop Festival) I came across the Gus Cannon pieces (see Wikipedia on Gus Cannon. The Grateful Dead renditions are nothing less than history in repetition.

However, there are a lot more examples of history repeating itself that result in a positive outcome. One example is (and I have the details foggy) a British commander in Palestine during WWI was maneuvering to fight an enemy force. He recalled a Biblical story of Joshua fighting a battle in the same area and how Joshua used a relatively unknown mountain pass to maneuver behind and win the battle. Sure enough, the pass was there, and the British commander repeated history.

Learn history not to learn how to avoid repeating it, learn history to learn when to repeat it.

Update: The WWI battle I describe relates to the Michmash Pass and the Biblical account of the original maneuver is documented in 1st Samuel Chapters 13 & 14.

Her Name is Rio and She Dances on the Sand!

Yes, my take on the failed Chicago Olympic bid.

What is the big deal one way or another here? I too was shocked, after all that almost trite notion that the president doesn't go to something like that unless it is in the bag is something I too generally believe in.

First, I wanted the Olympics to come to Chicago. We live about four hours away and it would not have inconvenienced us and probably would have led to increased tourism in the area (i.e. people staying in the hotels to go to Chicago & its surrounding environs for the games) which is always a good thing. Two, so what if the President got involved with it? I'ld rather have him doing that than making a mash of important things.

However, as we all know the Olympics went to Rio de Jenerio. No big deal, but from what I understand Michelle's and Obama's speeches were all about themselves and what the Olympics could do for Chicago and that is the wrong way to make a sale.

One other thing people are carping on is the waste of fuel and expenses to ferry Michelle & Obama back & forth. To this I say so what?

Guess Chicago didn't buy the IOC enough booze, hookers, and trinkets.