Monday, July 26, 2010

Does Anyone Really Believe This?

This kind of e-mail generally goes straight to the SPAM folder now, but every now and then one slips through and ends up in my Inbox.

And I have to admit, while I have had enough years of Internet use to recognize these just by the sender's (unintelligible) name, it hardly seems possible that anyone who's capable of negotiating their way through even the elementary functions of using a computer to check email could possibly be stupid enough to fall for one of these scams.

How someone might think that it's possible that someone you've never heard of, in a country you've never had anything to do with, just suddenly wants to deposit a sh$t load of money into your bank account for beyond me!

But, I guess some people do! I get a few every week. What's YOUR favorite?

From Mr Lusee mark (B.O.A)
Bill and Exchange Manager,
Bank of Africa(B.O.A)
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.
West Africa.


Sorry to distract your attention, I am Mr Lusee mark the bill and exchange manager in the bank of Africa Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.

In my department, I found the deposited fund amounted SEVEN MILLION TWO HUNNDERED THOUSAND DOLLARS (USD7,200,000.00).customer who died in the air crash with his entire family.

However, I shall detail you with the full information as soon as I hear from you.

Can you be able and capable to assist me provide your receiving bank account where this fund will lodge in your favour?

I shall give you 30% of the total sum as soon as this fund hits your account and I shall visit you in your country for the shearing.

Please this is very confidential. If you are interested, please forward me the bellow information's;

Your name:............................

Your country:.........................

Your phone Number:......................

Your tel/fax:............................

Your age:...............................

Your occupation:.......................

Thank for your anticipated co-peration.

Your's Faithfully.

Mr Lusee mark

Call +226 76 80 57 28



Dear Friend
Please Read Carefully And Get Back to Me PLease,

my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact
you for this transaction. i got your contact from yahoo
tourist search while i was searching for a foreign partner.

as this message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it
all justsured of your capability. and reliability to champion
this business opportunity when I prayed to good Lord about you.

I am a banker by profession in Burkina Faso ,And currently
holding the post of assistant foreign remittance director in
our bank. i have the opportunity of transferring the left over
funds ($5.5 million dollars) of one of my bank clients who
died along with his entire family in a plane crash.Hence,
I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be
shared between us in the ratio of 60/40% if you agree to my
business proposal. Further details of the transfer will be
forwarded to you as soon as i receive your return mail.

immediately you receive this letter. Please indicate your
willingness by sending thebelow information for more
clarification and easy communication.You can as well call my
direct line for further up date +226-74-06-58-15

(1) Your full name...........

(2) Your contact address..............

(3) Your phone and fax number..........

(4) Your age..................

(5) Your country name...........

(6)Your Occupation...........,

Hoping to hear from you immediately
Yours faithfully
Mr.Izufu Ali



My Dear good Friend

I am mr. younes ahmed,Staff of a Bank of africa in Burkina faso. I would like you to indicate your interest to receive the transfer of US$7.5 Million. I will like you to stand as the next of kin to my late client whose account is presently dormant, for claims, You should contact me on my private email:( you can call me(00226 78 35 92 42)


as soon as you receive this letter. Trusting to hear from you immediately.
Thanks Mr. Younes Ahmed.



Dear Friend,
I am Mr Timy John , the director in charge of auditing and accounting section of Bank of Africa (BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso West-Africa. I would like you to indicate your interest to receive the transfer of $9.8 Million Dollars. I will like you to stand as the next of kin to our late customer whose account is presently dormanat for claims. Please once you are interested kindly send me the following details information below,

1.Your full name:...........
2.Resident address:........
3.Private phone........
4.fax numbers:...............
5.Country :................
I shall send you more details as soon as i hear from you.

Mr. Timy John,




How are you doing. Hope you have not forgotten me, I am Engr Arthur Parkinson. the man from South-Africa who contacted you some time ago to assist me secure the release of some money accrued from the over-invoicing of a contract/inheritance that was awarded by colonial government sometime ago during the colonialism in south-Africa.Though you were not able to assist me to conclude the transaction, I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred Under the assistance and cooperation a new partner from Hong-Kong.

Presently I'm in Japan for an investment projects with my own share of the total sum.Meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me transferring those funds, I made sure you are not left out the benefit of the transaction hence I kept aside for you the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars($ 550,000.00) draft and plus $200.00USD to send your Draft via courier service to your destination.

I and my new partner agreed to compensate you with that amount for all your past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much,so feel free and get touch with my secretary Pastor Brenda Ballard. and instruct her on how to send the Bank draft to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive the Draft so that we can share the joy together after all the suffering at that time.

At the moment,I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which i and my new partner are having at hand.Finally,remember that i had left instruction to my secretary so as soon as you contact her, She will send the Draft to you,so feel free to get in touch with MY SECRETARY NOW.

Below is the contact of my secretary:
Name: Pastor Brenda Ballard.

Best Regards,
Engr Arthur Parkinson.



Dear Friend,

I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never meet before, but you need not to worry as I am using the only secured and confidential medium available to seek for your foreign assistance in a business.I am Mr Aliu Ahmed,the director in charge of credit and exchange section of Bank Of Africa,(BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina-faso West Africa with due respect and regard. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died on Monday, 31 July, 2000, in a plane crash and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before i discovery to this development.

The said amount was U.S $10.6M (Ten million six hundred United States dollars). As it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information through the Burkina-faso chamber of commerce on foreign business relations here in Ouagadougou Burkina-faso.

Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity.

In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant(ABanker),we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer of the fund,because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as ratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transferring the fund and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me. Please, you have been adviced to keep this transaction "top secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after i conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in.All other necessary vital information will be sent to you when I hear from you and please kindly delete if you are not interested.

I look forward to receive your email.

My Regards.
Mr Aliu Ahmed


They say there is an idiot born every day. I'd say there must be two born every day. One to concoct such an unbelievable absurdity as these money scams, and anther to actually believe it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dating Honesty Overkill

Honesty is generally a really good thing. It typically goes hand in hand with nice values like integrity and strong moral character.

But sometimes volunteering information or opinions goes way, way past anything redeeming and ends up being downright rude and unwelcome.

Case in point...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eat Like a Californian

Eating healthy when you're out isn't impossible and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. (admittedly, there is no $1 menu BUT you're not going to kill yourself slowly with junk either!)
These are places that have the healthy Northern California stamp of approval.

Panera Bread

ADDED 10/15/10

I'm pleased to include this article link and comment that Panera Bread and Jason's Deli earned the titles as First and Second of America's Top 5 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants

Jason’s Deli

Jamba Juice

Tropical Smoothie Café

California Pizza Kitchen

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Smoker Reality Check

Just because you feel fine today, doesn't mean you'll always feel that way.

Ignoring the facts, doesn't change them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Utah Does It Better

The message from the White House for the last year has been aggressively promoting “Change”. And from what they’ve been doing, it hasn’t been small changes, but colossal, eye-brow-raising change.

But even given that, it’s highly unlikely that what Utah’s governor is advocating, is at all in line with what the Obama administration was aiming for.

In a state that is know for their good work ethic, clever resourcing and self efficiently, the vast regions of Utah’s land currently owned by the government and not being used for anything, seems like a terrible waste.

They aren't looking for new housing or commercial shopping expansion. Utah simply wants to more effectively use natural resources in and on the land (for among other things) to generate cost effective energy. Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert may be hoping to set a precedent of state self-efficiency for other states to follow.

In a nation where energy resources are generated, monitored and profit gleaned on a Federal basis, states are often frustrated by the governments inability to recognize their particular needs and they’re sometimes thwarted from doing what would be cheaper through use of common sense.

Economic statistics show (and most people have experienced this personally) that when there is a monopoly and only one person/company/organization is in controls and has the power to regulate anything, the buyers/consumers/general population suffers from lack of options.

Competition keeps companies/organizations focused on winning customers which in turn forces them (against their greedy, lazy, complacent tendencies) to provide safer, cleaner and more functional products and services.

If the “Eminent Domain” bill passes, this could affect more than just Utah’s ability to provide energy for their own state (and possibly neighboring states?) and make better use of the land and resources they are surrounded by but not allowed to use. It could possibly encourage other states to find ways to tap their own natural resources to provide for their own state and establish independence.

The White House has been struggling to maintain systems and methods that already exist and this makes them less likely to experiment with greener and less familiar ways of doing things even if in the long run they'll save everyone money and be kinder to the environment.

If the government weren’t so determined to micro manage everything, they could see this as an opportunity to be relieved of so large a responsibility. Chances are though, this could tear small a hole in their monopoly and they certainly wouldn’t like that.

With consistently rising costs for energy (that hasn’t improved in decades) and the issues that the government has had regulating and maintaining America’s energy resources (gasoline spill anyone?), it might be time for the government to do what they should have done a long time ago:

Allow more control to the individual states to focus on their particular needs and abilities, so the White House administration can spend more time doing what they’re supposed to be doing (and that states cannot): Solidify international diplomacy, conclude whatever is necessary to end the war in Iraq, make a Health Bill that works, and maybe finally taking a whack at actually LOWERING the national debt.

Efficiency in the government? Now there is an eye-brow-raising change worth making!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

Wikipedia describes Freedom as: Free will and liberty; the ability to choose one’s own destiny, and the concept of having the right and ability to do as one chooses.

In truth, freedom means very different things depending on who you are and where you live.

A child in Africa.

A woman in Saudi Arabia.

A prisoner in North Korea.

An elderly person in Somalia.

Each one of these people will think personal freedoms are a quite different thing than say anyone in these categories who live in Sweden, Great Britain, or America.

Every day that a person wakes up with a roof over their head, shoes on their feet, food in their fridge and the ability to get their basic needs met without stealing, begging, bribing or being subject to interrogations, humiliation or serious self sacrifice, enjoy a level of freedom some people have never known in their entire life.

“Any existence deprived of freedom is a kind of death”- Gen Michel Aoun

X-box, 42 inch flat screen TVs, jetted hot-tubs, leather interior sports cars, pillow top beds, silk lined jackets, the list goes on and on of things the average middle class citizens have in America. While it’s very true that these items were worked for, paid for and are used and appreciated, the level of comfort experienced by many people would be considered uh-heard of opulence to billions of people who share our planet.

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings.” Helen Keller

The irony is that with all their technology, all their expendable income, all their freedom to access world news, the average middle class person in most civilized countries is badly informed on the conditions of other countries and honestly maybe, would prefer to not know. Many of these same people do not even really know what’s happening inside their own countries. And that is not just sad, it’s dangerous.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” –Thomas Jefferson

It is undeniable that the average citizen of any population doesn’t understand the magnitude of running a country. They often don’t want to be bothered by the messy details and aren’t prepared to deal with the level of cool-headed diplomacy required to keep alliances friendly and antagonistic forces in check.

“Many people know so little about what is beyond their short range of experience. They look within themselves - and find nothing! Therefore they conclude that there is nothing outside themselves either.” Helen Keller

But, it is also undeniable that the average citizen of any population should have the ability to demand their basic human rights and embrace a level of comfort during their existence that is in proportion to the output of their efforts and willingness to work, in an environment that allows success, rewards progress and encourages entrepreneurial spirit the way the American founding father’s envisioned the New World of America.

No matter what anyone says, the political and judicial systems in America are the most successful to date. And while they do have enormous flaws and holes, and we have much to learn from the successes of other civilized countries and the failures of uncivilized countries, there is no one here who could visit even the average poor country, and see their lives as being “about the same” in quality of life. Photos of these other countries are indeed "Postcards From Hell."

We in America are standing at a threshold of change. A change some think they want. A security they think they can buy with new laws and giving up freedoms.

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” –Winston Churchill

In that desire to have change and feel “safe”, we cannot trade the very freedoms that ensure those abilities to create change and feel safe, for the illusion of “safety and change”.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” -Helen Keller

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” – Benjamin Franklin

“You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.” –Robert A. Heinlein

The solution to starvation, lack of employment and a severe disparity in the “distribution of wealth” around the planet it NOT for everyone to move to America or France. It is NOT for “rich Americans” to donate and entirely support other countries, although sharing of our affluence as a philanthropist “love of humanity” effort ARE excellent ways to show altruism. That is, giving generously expecting nothing in return.

The real solution to the problems cannot be addressed en-mass until all citizens in all countries have a chance to experience “freedom” as civilized countries define it. People cannot fight to have what they have never seen an example of. Neither can they secure those rights and freedoms if they are starving, homeless and sick.

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted." - James Madison

Until countries demolish a segregated “caste system”, religious choice is viewed no differently than interior decorating preferences, nationality and “race” are viewed as variety “as a spice of life” and the wants and needs of the people are being governed by a mostly honest leadership and enforced by a fair and just judicial system, freedom will continue to be an elusive dream to billions.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Many people in America are angry about the war in Iraq and the wars that came previous to that. The “war” may have started as retaliation to an "act of terrorism" in America, but keeping US soldiers in these other countries continues largely because the general population of these counties cannot survive with their current leadership. They cannot eat, work, and live with the political contention between their “government” and the religious groups they live near.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” -Helen Keller

Firstly, America needs to be grateful every day of their lives that they live in a country that long ago fought and secured the level of freedom we enjoy and take for granted daily.

Secondly, we need to recognize that other countries want even a fraction of the freedoms we have. They may not know exactly what they are missing, or exactly what civilized countries have done to obtain those freedoms, but they want them too. And as human beings who hurt, bleed, cry, love and share the human experience, they should have the ability to live free.

Thirdly, civilized countries should help destroy the corrupt governments that keep their people impoverished and in turmoil. A starving, uneducated country will never be a peaceful country. They will never be a self-sustaining country. Until we remove the predators that are stealing the assets meant to improve the quality of life for the average person, and teach them skills to cultivate their lands, educate their own children and clothe their own families, they will always suffer at the hands of mercenaries and be reliant on the kindness of strangers in other countries.

The terrified, poor people will always be begging at our boarders and their corrupt leaders will always pose a threat at our gates. We need only to remember Hitler to realize, we *cannot* ignore any of them.

“When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.” - Thomas Jefferson

Every country has its assets. Every people are capable of developing some marketable skills. Third world countries have the ability to be flourishing, happy civilizations if only we can overcome the greed and evilness of a few, and establish a ruling system that empowers, educates and employs the average citizen. It is so very possible, but unfortunately not probable given the current power hungry climate that puts greed and selfishness above the virtues of compassion, tolerance and generosity.

As America celebrates our hard earned Independence Day, let us not forget our brothers and sisters in other countries who are still struggling to gain the right to clean water, adequate food and honest law enforcement. The rights and freedoms our ancestors died to give us. We owe it to our forefathers, our children, ourselves and our entire species, to have free will and liberty: the ability to choose ones own destiny and live life in harmony with each other and nature. And never give up the ability to fight for those precious freedoms.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” -Helen Keller

Happy Independence Day America!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

La Lady Liberty Lie

There are a number of misconceptions about the Statue of Liberty, and it's causing problems.