Facebook Scam: Islamic Friends

Because of my long-time use of email — same email address for more than fifteen years — I get a lot of spam.  One type that has surged in recent days is a peculiar Facebook/LinkedIn scam.  The email purports to be from Facebook, informing you that “<Islamic/Arabic name> wants to be friends.”  While it’s identified as “Facebook” the return email address involves em.LinkedIn.com.

But it goes somewhere else, of course, and installs a password-sniffing virus enabling the bad guys to drain your bank account or any other credit account you use.

In the last week, I’ve received several hundred of these.  Every single name fit a familiar pattern — except for one.  I actually do have Islamic/Arabic-named friends, including folks in Egypt affected by the Arab Spring there — but I don’t use a Facebook account associated with the email addresses these came in on.  (I’m not using Facebook at all, really.)  Here’s a sample: Continue reading

Building a Bilderberger

The “Bilderberg” business is peculiar to me. We either have all of the many hundreds of invitees forming an evil conspiracy, rendering George Soros something of an irrelevant bit player, or Soros really is a problem. I think he is, and I don’t think that a couple of days of PowerPoint presentations at a hotel each year are enough to clue all the putative players in to the proper actions of a “globalist” conspiracy. Continue reading

Evolution versus the Theory of Evolution

Marmoe’s Questions #2

MarmoeMarmoe had also asked other questions which I think the previous post addressed, but not this one: P.S.: What’s your definition of “evolution” vs. “Theory of Evolution”? I guess, I am missing U.S. nuances of the debate here.

There is indeed a distinction between evolution and the Theory of Evolution, and I think you will complete agree with that distinction: Continue reading

Intelligent Design and Global Warming Catastrophism

Marmoe’s Questions: #1

MarmoeMarmoe asked a number of questions; the answers got long:

Can we both agree that ID is not science and should not be taught as if it were science?

Almost. Intelligent Design ((ID) is actually packaged as science; it’s just not good, well-supported science. To achieve its ends, ID folks hide some data and exaggerate others, and leap to some evidently wrong conclusions based upon what they’ve got.

To me, Intelligent Design is very much like the current global warming catastrophism. Continue reading

Texas Gives an Education

I mentioned this yesterday (actually early this morning), but did not get the link in correctly.

Texas and Wisconsin education rankings have been compared, with the Wisconsin union teachers blasting Texas for not having union teachers. Wisconsin’s rank on the National Report Card is #2, they noted, compared to #47 for Texas.

But in fact, Texas students are doing better in almost every single regard than Wisconsin students, as Iowahawk notes. In scores in the different subjects at several grade levels, 18 scores in all, Texas beats Wisconsin in 17 of them and it’s about a draw for the last one.

Continue reading

Perry Aster

The title here, “Perry Aster,” comes in part from Texas governor Rick Perry’s appearance and rapid rise in the race for the Republican nomination.

But there’s another layer to the title: I’ve written a short story called “Periaster” which I’m expanding into a novel. It has two completely different meanings, and the story takes advantage of both. So the Perry title play here amused me.

The ferocity of the liberal attack on Perry — in leftist sources from the New York Times to MSNBC — shows that the left is truly worried about him. That might be good news. But various stories circulating about him are not all from the left; there are concerned conservatives as well. Continue reading

“I could mandate everybody buy a house.”

One of the presidential candidates made an astute statement about attempting to solve the health insurance problem by forcing everyone to buy it: He compared it to forcing homeless people to buy a house as a solution to homelessness.

He was responding to complaints about his idea, pointedly did not include an “individual mandate” or requirement that people be forced by the government to make a purchase. He responded to complaints about his idea, where they were “arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”

That makes sense. Forcing someone to buy something is not a power in the Constitution, and moreover that’s not the real problem with the health industry anyway. The Obamacare plan forces the health industry to be more like the government, in which it gets larger and stronger and makes more money by failing.

The candidate for President who made the observation above was Barack Obama, of course. He was against individual mandates before he was for them.

So far, 26 states are against them. And so, it seems to me, is the US Constitution.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Political_Contributions_1989_2010

Throwing a Party some Cash

Not long ago, I was approached by a petition signature worker, who exhorted me to help stop corporations from contributing money to politics. “Unions, too?” I asked. That stopped him cold, and he sputtered to come up with how this was different. I left him sputtering.

But how heavily to corporations actually favor Republicans? It depends upon the corporation, it seems.

This list is interesting; it represents the top 140 donors of political money over the past two decades. Each of these gave over a million, with the top ones in the $50 million range.

Obviously, the top donors are not Republican in their contribution favoritism; you have to go down to #17 to get to the first one giving 60% or more to Republicans. (It’s the National Auto Dealers Assn. at 67%.)

But this list of 140 is a lot of numbers. I took a quick shot at organizing it, grouping them into Corporations, Unions, and Associations. Here’s what I came up with:

Corporations in the top 140 donors gave more cash than unions or associations, but it was much closer to balanced, with 42% of the money going to Democrats. Associations were similar, but went the other way with 55% going to Democrats.

Ah, but unions: 96% Democrat dollars. More than half a billion compared to 23 million for Republicans, a ratio of more than 21 to 1.

No wonder the fellow sputtered when I asked if unions, too, should be prevented from contributing money.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Tolerance and Trouble Brewing

There is a difference between the US political left and right in the area of tolerance of ideas.

In general, the right argues vehemently against the left’s ideas, but does not advocate blocking them. For example, while many conservatives are looking forward to the New York Times’s business failure, and take a certain grim delight in the poor performance of far left media such as MSNBC with the American public, we don’t want them shut down just for saying what they say.

Suppressing the opposition

On the left, this issue is seen very differently as a general thing. Continue reading

Holy Founding Fathers?

ACertainDoeBearACertainDoeBear commented on this post:

Which reminds me, perhaps the ‘purpose’ of the US ‘country’ is to act as a container for the Holy Founding Fathers ideas. Hmm.

It’s certainly true that many on the conservative side, Tea Party folks and others, have an abiding admiration and reverence for the US Founding Fathers. I am among those who feel this admiration.

It isn’t that I think that they were infallible, or even entirely admirable as individuals. Many were, some had notable flaws.

Thomas Jefferson, for example Continue reading