Category Archives: Humor

Animal’s Daily Scammer Payback News

First up:  Make sure to check out the latest of  the Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

Moving right along:  Denver’s former 800-pound gorilla of local talk radio, Mike Rosen, describes a detection and turn-about of a would-be scammer.  Excerpt:

To its credit, Craigslist posts a warning to its sellers to be wary of distant buyers responding to their ads who might pay with a counterfeit check that would initially clear the bank but will later be clawed back from the seller who deposited it when the fraud is discovered. Case in point, here’s my recent experience. After redecorating I had to part with an elegant bar and buffet featuring lighted glass shelves and doors to display glassware, china and accessories. So, I offered it on Craigslist at the bargain price of $295. Almost instantly, I got a text message from an enthusiastic buyer who wanted it at full price from the picture I posted. He gave his name as Peter A. Frederick and said he was an out of town construction consultant and needed it shipped to him. I wanted payment in cash and preferred a buyer who would pick it up himself. He persisted and proposed the following arrangement. He’d send me a certified check for $1,950.50. When I get it, I should deposit it in my bank and after the check clears, I should deduct $295 for the buffet plus an extra $50 for my “running around” and send the excess funds of $1,605 to his shipper. After the shipper gets my check, he’ll contact me with shipping instructions.

Doing the math: $1,950.50 – $295.00 – $50.00 – $1,605.00 = $0.50, I discovered there was an extra 50 cents left over for me! I was tempted, but realized it wouldn’t be ethical to cheat him out of that for his inadvertent math mistake. Just kidding. Of course, by now I was sure it was a scam. But I figured I’d play along out of curiosity. He already had my name and address, and a few days later I got his check.

Read the entire story; I enjoyed the post-script:

Now, here’s an ironic postscript. Since Peter/Paul the scammer had my name and text address, he must have added me to his sucker list as I also got this text during the process: “Hi Michael Rosen, I’m Aaron Scott from the crime investigative department. There is an urgent arrest warrant against you right now. We received an information about a recent fraudulent paycheck which you were investigated to be part of. You are being monitored and it’s very important that I do hear from you as soon as possible before we proceed further with our legal actions.”

My response: “There’s no such thing as the *$@&#! crime investigation department. You’re the one who should be investigated.”

My cell phone service is pretty good about identifying would-be scam callers.  Several times a week my phone will blip once and the screen will display “Scam Likely” or some such, and I’ll block the number.  I’ve gotten some that go through to voice mail, including a recent one that gave me the dire news that an IRS arrest warrant had been issued for me and that I should call a certain number to “clear things up.”  Blocked.  Some of the scammers have resorted to text messages, as they presumably don’t go through the same process – and, again, when I get them, blocked.

The thing that concerns me about these horse’s asses is the fact that some people must fall for this crap, or they wouldn’t keep doing it.  I’m of the belief that there comes a time where fools and their money deserve to be parted (Gwyneth Paltrow and her GOOP idiocy come to mind) but it’s really just too bad that these assholes still find marks, frequently among the very old and very young.

Fortunately my own family shows more savvy.  A couple of years before he passed, the Old Man got a phone call:

Caller:  “Grandpa?  This is your granddaughter.  I’m in trouble, I need help.”

Old Man:  “What’s your name?”

Caller:  “Don’t you recognize my voice, Grandpa?”

Old Man:  “No.  What’s your name?”

Caller:  “Uhm…”

At that point the Old Man hung up.

More folks should show as much sense as my Dad did.

 

Rule Five Schadenfreudalicious Friday

From Merriam-Webster:

Schadenfreude noun, often capitalized
scha·​den·​freu·​de | \ ˈshä-dᵊn-ˌfrȯi-də
\
Definition of schadenfreude

: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

And yes, True Believers, that’s what I’m feeling lately, due to the sudden troubles of our own favorite Congressional lackwit, Alexandria Occasional Cortex.  Excerpt:

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a top aide appear to control an outside PAC credited with being the central force behind her June 2018 primary victory.
  • One former Federal Election Commission member thinks there would be a “serious investigation” if a complaint were filed, noting that the probe could potentially result in civil penalties or even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff.
  • A second former commissioner said there were possibly “multiple violations of federal campaign finance law.”
  • Justice Democrats ran campaigns for Ocasio-Cortez and 11 other Democrats, but the New York Democrat was the only one to win her general election.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, according to archived copies of the group’s website, and the two appear to retain their control of the group, according to corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat’s campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to “massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,” former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said.

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.

“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Now, chuckle-inducing as that would be, I suspect Occasional Cortex won’t see any serious penalties for this.  For one thing, it’s pretty obvious the girl isn’t terribly swift, and the horrendous complexity of campaign-finance laws is almost certainly way over her head.  I suspect her campaign manager will end up taking the fall.

But this will spell the end of her political career.  If there is any fire at all behind all this smoke, then she has gone from being a damned nuisance to her fellow Democrats to an outright liability.

Will she be primaried?  That would be ironic, but it may not be necessary.  New York is due for redistricting; the Democrats running that machine could easily redistrict her back into another bartending gig, an occupation for which she is much better suited than her current position.

Her campaign manager, though.  This apparently isn’t his first rodeo, and he really ought to have known better.  One might concede that a 29-year old bartender might be ignorant of many of the complexities of running for and holding office, as evidence of which I might offer her performance to date.

Still.  Ignorance of the law, as they say, is no excuse.  It will be roundly interesting to see how this plays out.

Still – does anyone care to hazard a guess as to whether this gets Congress to look at our overly complicated campaign-finance system?  I’ll lay odds they don’t.  Losing only one of their own, and an annoying one at that, isn’t enough to start them down that road.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks once again to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links – and be sure to read Part 5 of my revolver history over at Glibertarians.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, some nut decided to self-treat his back pain by injecting his own semen intravenously.  Yes, really.  Excerpts, with my comments:

In a new case study, Irish doctors report the baffling case of a 33-year-old man who injected his own semen intravenously for a year and a half, a self-developed “cure” intended to treat his chronic back pain. It does not appear to have worked.

No shit.

After reportedly injecting semen into his arm every month for 18 months, the man finally sought medical attention—but not for his arm. The patient instead complained of “severe, sudden onset lower pack pain,” having lifted a “heavy steel object” three days beforehand. During his checkup, the doctor found a patch of red swelling on his right forearm, after which the man admitted he’d been injecting himself with his own semen using a hypodermic needle he purchased online.

So, in what insane universe does this seem like a good idea?  Is there some weird cult, subculture or pseudo-scientific quackery that advocates injecting semen to deal with chronic pain?  In what way does this Irish moron think this is going to deal with what sounds like a pinched nerve, a pulled muscle or at worst maybe some minor damage to his spine?

This time around, he had injected three “doses” of semen, entering both his blood vessels and his muscles.

If he was shooting for intravenous and hit intramuscular, then that’s an added data point proving that he had no idea what the fuck he was doing.

While some might be tempted to speculate on his methods of obtaining and handling his own spooge prior to injection, I have to demur; that part of the process really doesn’t bear too much thinking about.  But I doubt concern over aseptic technique was one of the considerations, especially since he apparently repeatedly used a needle “he bought online.”

Apparently Spoogy McDipshit is going to survive this experience.  I suppose that’s a good thing, objectively, even though his history of decision making may well put him in candidacy for a Darwin Award at some point in the future.

Animal’s Daily Gun Buy-Back Shenanigans News

Guns Not for Sale.

This elicited a chuckle:  Man Sells Junk Guns to Buy-Back Program, Buys New Gun With Cash.  Excerpt:

Nine times out of 10, those selling us their guns are law-abiding citizens getting rid of broken or unused weapons.

It’s entrepreneurship at its finest. So for that, I need to give some serious props to state leaders. While they failed at the whole “gun handover” thing, they sure succeeded at giving people a side hustle.

Like this guy, for example.

A Missouri man sold his firearms made out of scrap metal and garbage to a gun buy-back program… and then used the money to buy a real gun.

We call that man a “patriot”.

YouTuber Royal Nonesuch made a quick $300 by taking 3 firearms that he’d built out of scrap and selling them back to the state of Missouri. He described two of the pipe guns as the ‘crappiest guns I’ve ever made’ but was still able to successfully sell them off to the program.

First off; yes, gun buy-backs are stupid.  What’s more, they’re a waste of taxpayer money.  Even more than that, the “no-questions-asked” models of most buy-backs allow criminals to safely dispose of weapons that may well be linked to a crime, and get some cash or prizes into the bargain.

And riddle me this:  How the hell can a city “buy back” something that never belonged to the city in the first place?

The last gun “buy-back” done in Denver was in 2008, and netted a grand total of fifteen guns; at least that one was done by a church, and not by the city at taxpayer expense.  But if they ever do another, I expect I’ll have to find some time to drag loyal sidekick Rat out of his lodgings to head to a scrap yard.  I’m fairly certain we can bang together a few zip-gun style gizmos to sell, and I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out one of the Ruger Gunsite Scout rifles…

…Opportunities are where we find them.  Right?

Animal’s Daily Russian Malware News

Now, I have to admit, this is funny; a porn-watching Imperial employee has infected Imperial computers with Russian malware.  Collusion?  Maybe!  Excerpt:

An Interior Department watchdog recommended the U.S. Geological Survey ratchet up internet security protocols after discovering its networks had been infected with malware from pornography sites.

The agency’s inspector general traced the malicious software to a single unnamed USGS employee, who reportedly used a government-issued computer to visit some 9,000 adult video sites, according to a report published Oct. 17.

Many of the prohibited pages were linked to Russian websites containing malware, which was ultimately downloaded to the employee’s computer and used to infiltrate USGS networks, auditors found. The investigation found the employee saved much of the pornographic material on an unauthorized USB drive and personal Android cellphone, both of which were connected to their computer against agency protocols.

The employee’s cell phone was also infected with malware.

“Our digital forensic examination revealed that [the employee] had an extensive history of visiting adult pornography websites” that hosted malware, the IG wrote. “The malware was downloaded to [the employee’s] government laptop, which then exploited the USGS’ network.”

First of all, I hope the dumbass Imperial employee has been fired – but given how difficult it can be to get rid of the worst of that sort, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the dipshit porn-watcher is on “paid leave” or some other such crap.

But here’s the real concern I have with this:  If these people have enough time on their hands to be surfing porn sites at work, what the hell are we paying them for?  Most of my typical workdays when I’m on-site, on a project, I don’t have time to sneeze, much less spend some time watching the online shenanigans of porn stars.

I’ve often said that if I were ever appointed as, say, Director of Veteran’s Affairs, the first thing I would do would be to visit every Imperial facility for which I was responsible, and ask every employee of said facility two questions:

  1. What is your purpose here?
  2. What are you doing right now?

Any employee who can not satisfactorily answer both of those questions would be dismissed on the spot.

It’s a fantasy, I know.  But it’s a fun one.  And it would sure cut down on the featherbedding in Imperial staffing.

Animal’s Daily Screwball News

In my tenure producing these virtual pages, I’ve often (and, I think, justifiably) referred to Senator Sanders as the loony old socialist from Vermont.  And his protege from New York City, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, can also be presumed to be a bit daffy, at least on economic matters.

But there’s a difference between loony and absolutely, barking batshit nuts.  This guy is the latter.  Excerpt:

A Green Party candidate for Congress in Ohio’s nail-biter contest who won nearly enough votes to throw the race into an automatic recount – gave a speech-slurred interview this year in which he couldn’t remember his own website address.

Joe Manchik also says he’s descended from aliens and hails from the town of Hell, Michigan.

In Tuesday’s closely watched special election, 1,127 Ohioans chose him over Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor.

Balderson’s apparent margin of victory was just 1,754 votes. Presuming Manchik’s base would otherwise have been O’Connor supporters, the result without him would have been a hair’s-width away from triggering an automatic recount.

And:

The native of Hell, Michigan says he traces his lineage back to a more far-off place.

‘My distant relatives originally came to planet Earth from a planet orbiting a star in the Pleiades star cluster located in the constellation of Taurus,’ Manchick writes, boasting that he was ‘voted “Class Musician” by my High School graduating class.’

He did not respond to a message left Wednesday at his personal phone number, which he posted on Facebook.

Wow.  Wow.

I suppose the GOP should be happy to take their spoilers where they find them; Pols are hardly the most stable folks in general, after all, a certain level of narcissism seems to be a minimum requirement.  But the candidates in both parties should be pretty embarrassed to have lost even a single vote to this nutbar.

Maybe, though, there’s a little campaign strategy possible here.  Finding candidates crazy enough to stand out like this guy does is a challenge, sure, especially given the amount of crazy to be found in both major parties.  But think about it – obviously, at least in swing-state Ohio, there are enough bugnuts voters to make this guy a spoiler.

Worth a try?

Animal’s Daily Random Thoughts

Some of my actual bucket list items:

  • Taking a dump on Turkmenistan.
  • Being in a situation where I can accurately say to someone “you have arrived just in time for my moment of triumph!”
  • Go on a Cape Buffalo hunt in which I kill a massive bull in a full charge, timed so that he slides, dead, up to the toes of my boots.  Note that this item will likely necessitate a change of underwear immediately thereafter.
  • Bitch-slap Chuck Schumer.
  • Drive the AlCan.
  • Go hunting in Siberia.
  • See the following places:
    • India
    • Vladivostok
    • Iceland
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Rome
    • Tierra del Fuego
    • Patagonia

I have more bucket list items, but those are just a few of my favorites.

I know the science in Jurassic Park is pretty much at the Star Trek level of bullshit, but I wish it wasn’t, solely because I think hunting a full-grown bull T-rex would be an unimaginably awesome adventure.

Being able to teleport would be the best superpower you could have.  Being telepathic would be a close second.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Japan, I’ve often wondered why Japanese schoolgirls wear what amounts to a sailor’s uniform.  They aren’t going to school on a ship – so, why?

By the time Mrs. Animal and I leave here on Saturday, I will have spent nigh unto a year now working and living in Silicon Valley.  I can sum up my experience temporarily residing in California with three words:  Fuck this place.

On that note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

File this under both “Darwin Award Looking For A Place to Happen” and “Absolute Nut Goes Nuts.”  Excerpt:

Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet (549 metres) high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.

Assuming the 500-mph (805-kmh), mile-long (1.6 km-long) flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.

Hughes’s ultimate goal is a subsequent launch that puts him miles above Earth, where the 61-year-old limousine driver hopes to photograph proof of the disc we all live on.

“It’ll shut the door on this ball earth,” Hughes said in a fundraising interview with a flat-Earth group for Saturday’s flight.

Theories discussed during the interview included NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons and Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps.

Yes, True Believers, you read that right; Freemasons and Elon Musk are behind the “Round Earth Conspiracy.”  But here are the real laugh lines:

That said, Hughes isn’t a totally unproven engineer. He set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for a limousine jump, according to Ars Technica, and has been building rockets for years, albeit with mixed results.

“Okay, Waldo. 3 . . . 2 . . . 1!” someone yells in a test fire video from 2012.

There’s a brief hiss of boiling water, then . . . nothing. So Hughes walks up to the engine and pokes it with a stick, at which point a thick cloud of steam belches out toward the camera.\

Yes, that’s right; he poked it.  With a stick.

You just can’t make this stuff up.  Also:

“John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are Freemasons,” Hughes agreed. “Once you understand that, you understand the roots of the deception.”

Uh huh.

Here’s my favorite:

He won’t be able to test the rocket before he climbs inside and attempts to steam himself at 500 mph (805 kmh) across a mile (1.6 km) of desert air. And even if it’s a success, he’s promised his backers an even riskier launch within the next year, into the space above the disc.

“It’s scary as hell,” Hughes told the AP. “But none of us are getting out of this world alive.”

Here’s my prediction  Hughes won’t get out of that launch alive.

Now, some folks will be advocating for government interference with Hughes’ plan, to prevent him hurting himself.  I’m not in favor of that.  Not only should stupid people be conspicuous, I’m not particularly against allowing them to freedom to kill themselves, especially when it might be entertaining.   As long as he doesn’t crash into a populated area, and from his plans he doesn’t seem to be going over too many of those – I say, he should feel free to knock himself out.

Literally.

Rule Five Stupid Lyrics Friday

When I was a kid back in the Seventies, there was a song by the British band Ten Year After called I’d Love To Change The World.  That song included these lyrics:

Tax the rich, feed the poor

‘Till there are no rich no more

Even the seventeen-year old me thought that was stupid.  “If there are no rich no more,” I remember thinking, “who the hell is going to feed the poor then?”  These lyrics seemed to that younger me to describe the very folly of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Now, musicians – indeed, performers of any sort – are frequently of the redistributionist bent.  That’s nothing new.  But some popular song lyrics present us with some of the most intelligence-insulting economic illiteracy ever seen.  Here are a couple of examples:

1: Steve Miller Band, Take The Money and Run.

The lyrics in question:

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run

Isn’t that nice?  The young couple that are the subject of this song, in the very opening stanza, commit three felonies:  Breaking and entering, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit murder (if not actually murder – the song is unclear.)  Maybe the Steven Miller Band wasn’t trying to glorify violent robbery, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  The song goes on:

Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes

Sure appears to me that the cop is made out to be the bad guy here.   As for his making his living “off of the people’s taxes,” well, sure – law enforcement is an example of a distributed interest, and one of the actual legitimate functions of a local government.  And bringing armed and dangerous felons to heel is a pretty damned good use of tax money.

2:  The Beatles/John Lennon, Imagine

I loathe this song.  I’ve been called a heartless bastard for saying so, but I nevertheless loathe this song.  it’s the worst sort of mushy-headed puffery masquerading as some kind of high ideals.  Consider:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

No possessions?  To hell with that!  Heartless bastard I’ve been called and heartless bastard I may be, but screw that idea.  If I work for something and earn it, it’s mine.  If you work for something and earn it, it’s yours.  If anyone works for something and earns it, it’s theirs.

You want a brotherhood of man?  Fine.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men, all using their own talents, skills, knowledge and abilities to produce value.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men openly and freely trading the products of their work with each other, via mutual agreements openly and freely agreed to, in which both parties gain value.  What Lennon called greed, I call ambition – that urge that drives people to work, to achieve, to excel.  Want to eliminate hunger?  That’s the way to do it.

Much as I love my daily helpings of classic rock, there are nevertheless times when its creators drive me batty.