I also recently recorded a call from a “Microsoft technician” who claimed that my computers were infected with viruses and malware. Their scam is to try to convince you to let them perform a remote desktop connection to your computers so they can “fix” the problem. But it’s a scam for them to get your personal information.
The most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and helium. The most abundant elements on earth are bullshit and assholes.
In this old story about me baiting a scammer, I posted some of the photos the scammer was sending me to convince me of the authenticity of the photo. Here is a photo of “Mariam” at her father’s funeral:
It looked obviously photoshopped to include some model’s face. Today I located the original photograph:
“There has never been a just one, never an honorable one – on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful – as usual – will shout for the war. The pulpit will – warily and cautiously – object – at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, “It is unjust and dishonorable, and here is no necessity for it.” Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers – as earlier – but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation – pulpit and all – will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”
“The cleansing properties of urine are not even addressed in the food pyramid. This must be corrected. We cannot allow small minds and prejudice to bury this useful health information from our brothers and sisters in light.
“Write back IMMEDIATELY and tell me where to report with my diagrams. I am including corn muffins prominently in my calculations. That alone should tell you that I know what I am doing!”
– Mark Martin, Foodician, from his submission to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the redesign of the “food pyramid”.
I think it’s an artist’s prank. He claims he received a response from the USDA but it was just a generic form letter. Nevertheless, the prominence of corn muffins in his calculations is hard to ignore.
“There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said ‘Let us pray,’ and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.”
– Desmond M. Tutu, “Religious Human Rights and the Bible.”
We are led to believe by McCain and Palin that “spreading the wealth” is the same thing as socialism. What Would Adam Smith Do?
The principle that Obama evinced, which most economists would regard as unexceptionable, can be traced to Adam Smith. In “The Wealth of Nations” (1776), his seminal treatise on capitalism, Smith wrote:
The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
– Adam Smith, quoted in the New Yorker, October 27 2008