Friday, August 24, 2007

Variation on a Theme - But Not a Good One

Nigerians have apparently joined the US Marine Corps, gone to Iraq, and taken their money repatriation schemes with them.

From the beginning I have found the Nigerian repatriation letters to be nothing more than a curiosity. They were instructive for their numerous grammatical errors, indicative of someone with only rudimentary ("I have been a Legal solicitor for years many") knowledge of the English language. Most of the authors come across as people who were given English lessons by missionaries, found one of those computers that IBM dropped in the veldt ten years ago, and are parlaying their new skills into money-making schemes.

Since then, of course, the scheme has moved from Nigeria to any number of third world nations. They used to address me by my name, although they've since gotten lazy and don't do that anymore. The amount of money cited varies from $750,000 to well over $11 million. Had I bothered to follow a couple of these to their logical conclusions, I would either be rich or (according to the Secret Service) chopped up into fish bait by now.

I don't even give these things a second glance nowadays, but this one made it past my spam filters into my regular mailbox, and I read through it just to see how they're handling things now. I would have sent it straight into Spam Hell had it not been for the subject line: "A BUSINESS PROPOSAL FROM IRAQ." That started my blood boiling before I even glanced at the preview window.

Dear Friend,

Good day and compliments, i know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Capt.Jeffery Simpsons, a US Marine Capt. serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment which Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq.

I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $1,570,000 (One million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand US dollars) to the States or any safe country of your choice, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.

Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam Hussein's old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us. This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a German contact working with the UN here(his office enjoys some immunity)I was able to get the package out t a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, and before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative.

I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up. I do not know for how long I will remain here as I have been lucky to have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention. This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavour to contact me and we would work out the necessary formalities but i pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship.
Contact me via my private box:( so that I can furnish you with more details.

Capt.Jeffery Simpsons,
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ.
So there we have it. These schemes always target the gullible; so much is obvious. This attempt, however, plays on a highly emotional issue for many, many people. On a more cynical note, it could also be an attempt to play up to spreading liberal notions that US servicemen are uneducated exploiters, and use this to point out just how crooked our soldiers really are.

Either way, this is reprehensible in the extreme. The more bald attempts to play to our sympathies ("No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole." "...I have been lucky to have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks...") are downright criminal in their intent.

Parts of it, of course, are unintentionally funny. "Capt. Simpsons," a United States Marine, not only created a UK hotmail address, but failed to spell his own name properly when signing up for the account, apparently. Not to mention the obvious grammatical errors and misused British spellings ("mutually benefiting relationship" and "Endeavour" come to mind), along with the seemingly random Capitalizations.

No, Captain Simpsons either doesn't exist, or doesn't know that his name is being used in this manner. Either way, it's just another pavestone on this individual's path to a very dark afterlife.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm Still Not Ready

To pay attention to the election, that is.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that if it weren't for a few blogospheric zealots, no one else in this country would care about the fact that we're electing a president next year?

Truthfully, given all the inane banter back and forth between candidates so far this year, none of what I've seen so far comes as any kind of surprise. People are sitting pretty much where I expected them to way back months ago. Hillary is still trying to shed her husband's White House image in her own campaign; Romney is still the scrappin' up-and-comer for the GOP; while Giuliani tries in vain to convince grass-roots Republicans that just because he stood tall during 9/11, we should trust him when he says he isn't basically just a liberal in a conservative suit. Fred! is still teasing everyone about running (or not!), while John Edwards just keeps making himself less and less relevant to anything approaching today's realities.

Democrats have already shown that they refuse to grow up and have meaningful debates on hard issues unless they're talking to a video snowman. Republicans got tired of being jeered at by the Democrats and are now looking to do the same. I'm thinking Rove in white-face with a hat and a muffler. I'm sure he'll ask the hard questions.

Meanwhile, people I never heard of and don't care to find out about are already dropping out of the race. They get the luxury of sitting on the sidelines now, and saying "I told you so!" every time one of the survivors trips up. Which will happen more and more now that the MSM has a smaller field of victims for the smear campaigns they're already ratcheting up.

In short, I don't want this election to bother me until, say, January. Then I'll go read a few blogs, watch a debate or two (I'm sure the snowman stuff will still be on YouTube), and maybe even read a news clipping or two.

Then I'll go vote in a primary election that won't make one shred of difference about the ticket that I'll eventually be forced to vote for next November.

That's politics in the good ol' U. S. of A. I'm going to bed now.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Terror Alerts... More or Less

Breaking news from across the pond. A tip of the hat to my step-Dad, ZeeMeister, who sent me this from somewhere in western Texas. He won't identify his source, other than to claim that he "asked hard questions" and "confirmed the woman," whatever that means.
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides." The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Now, Woody stands next to no one in admiration for all of our allies — real and/or imagined — but you gotta admit: politically-speaking, these attitudes sound awfully familiar...