Smitty’s Loose Change #14

It’s official, folks!  The grand-daughter-in-law had her second fetal ultrasound scan.  The technician noted the clear presence of a sporran.  This means that the first great-grandchild will be a piper.  Names currently being considered include Garion, Gwyllem, and Rowan/ Rohan/Ronan.

All comments will be forwarded as a poll, and your opinion may influence the child’s given name.  Do you wanna get into a lottery about what the final choice will be?  All entries are $1 US/each.  The winner will receive an online photo of a crisp $20 bill, and a note of heartfelt thanx from my retirement fund.

***

If the animals knew that most vegans were Atheists, wouldn’t they prefer to give their lives for the Creator, rather than being exploited by the Godless?
If the hated Atheists are also hated vegans, who eat no meat, just which “Godless” would these sapient animals be exploited into giving their lives for??!

***

Recent psychological study shows Atheists’ IQs slightly higher than average
Well, they’re not really smarter than us.   Atheists just have a kind of autism that makes them look like they’re smarter on the tests.

***

“Jesus Take The Wheel Day”
I’m not sure if it was started by dumb religious people, or Atheists trying to thin the herd.

***

Man buys ‘penis enlarger’. Receives magnifying glass.

***

One reason I’ve never pumped drugs into my veins or put a gun in my mouth is because I’m not addicted to applause. I’m not craving the spotlight. I don’t need the audience to love me. My life is guided by principles, not circumstances.

***

For a while, I worked with a guy named Ugly.  To be honest, he was a French-Canadian who spelled his name Imbo.  While researching other names, I tore his apart.  Spelling drift showed that it started as Imbeau.

In French, beau means handsome, good looking.  The prefix “IM” indicates a negative, like impossible or immature, so, he was not handsome or not good looking – UGLY!  It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t discover this until years after we both retired.

***

The number of local manufacturing jobs is greatly reduced, but there still are some, if you look hard enough.  The son just achieved the triumvirate of working at three of the same plants – though not for the same companies – that I did.

It all started in 1988, when I got him a summer job at my auto-parts plant.  He worked there for almost three months, before returning to high school.  Several years later, he left Community College just in time to find that technological changes and downsizing in the Radio industry had rendered his Broadcast Arts course useless.

He eventually got a job at an injection-molded plastics parts plant.  This was the same building where I had worked as a Purchasing Agent in 1975, when it was a millwrighting/rigging firm.  More recently, COVID 19 got him furloughed from his treasured midnight shift position, when the plant went to day-shift only.

Just when finances began to get a bit tight, his company contacted him and asked if he’d like to work in the warehouse.  Who knew that shipping barbecues to the United States, Sweden, and Israel was an ‘essential industry?’  According to the hen-scratching on the cardboard boxes, the ones going to Israel were Kosher.  Their eventual owners could cook beef or chicken, but not pork ribs.

The building that his company acquired for a warehouse, was the same one where I cut boot and shoe parts for the now-defunct shoe company, before leaving to work at the auto-parts plant.  We have come full circle.

***

Is There a Connection Between Atheism and Antifa?
As far as I can tell, Antifa’s uniting trait is that they are anarcho-communists who oppose nationalism.
We know as a matter of historical fact that communism and atheism have been strongly linked.  Might this also be the case with “anarcho-communism?”

As far as I can tell, this Christian Apologist didn’t exactly claim that they are one and the same.  He just used some impressive-sounding buzz-words, and implied the Hell out of into it, and leaves the gullible to assume that it’s true.

Why The Case For God Matters

I thought “The Case For God” might be Coors Light, but what do I know?

“The best way to find out the purpose of a widget, is to ask the manufacturer.” So simple and yet so profound.

I have asked the manufacturer, many times, what the purpose of the widget is. I have received no answer from the top. I have received innumerable unbelievable claims from His many and varied sales reps, who stand to make a 10% commission.

Manufacturer: Please read the manual before inquiring. Remember…all claims are unbelievable when you don’t believe them. Most of our sales reps work for free while some do make a 10% “commission” to cover overhead costs…but since you didn’t spend a dime on anything, this is of no concern to you. As the manufacturer, so far you’ve only inquired many times and harassed the sales reps. Problems in many areas cannot be addressed if you refuse to take the necessary steps already directed by the manufacturer. Basically….it’s your fault. When you’re ready to put into action the things already directed by the sales reps….we can move forward with your request. Thank you and have a nice day!

With the best of intentions, you just don’t see the problem.  I have read the manual – carefully, intently, repeatedly, over many years.  I understand the sales reps’ confusion.  Compared to it, Ikea’s is a paragon of clarity.  I have never harassed the reps, although they often harass me.  You, and the reps, would like to believe, and have others believe, that all the claims are identical.

I would love to take the “necessary steps”.  It’s just that it is quickly clear that competing reps’ claims are contradictory, and mutually exclusive.  Even when they agree, the promised quality and delivery of the final product violates observed reality, and arrives, at the exact frequency as blind chance.  The Nigerian Prince can do that well.  How then can I, or anyone, know which claims and conditions are true, that we may follow them??

I know that I am only a potential customer, but I dare to suggest that you cut back the budget of the Promotional Department, stop offering a free, magical prize in every glitzy package, and, instead, have Production grind out solid, reliable product.

I envy your writing skills and ability to analogize so impressively. But I can only point out that our “product” came to die in order to make it possible for all of our customers who choose to accept it to enjoy an (eternal) lifetime warranty. He then left an empty grave behind. If you have a proposed explanation for how that happened that makes sense of more of the evidence for His explanation, then please submit it. Best regards, A Rep.

That’s a debate for another day. Why not solve these problems first?? It might lend credence to any additional claims.  While there ‘should be’ only one basic model, far too many representatives, with or without the knowledge or authorization of Head Office, take it upon themselves to create a whole customized ‘Product Line,’ adding non-standard options, and tighter lease restrictions.  They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

They urge me to take their product on faith.  Faith is the excuse that people give, when they don’t have a good reason to believe.  If they had a good reason, they would give it. If and when all the infighting has ceased, and there is one reputable path to truth, then, and only then, will I consider buying into this.

No, your entire prospect for enjoying our product depends entirely upon how you respond to this specific question. We certainly hope that you will take full advantage of our product but whether or you do, depends upon your response on this question. Best regards.

Did I miss something?? Which specific unspecified question would that be?? Is Jesus Divine? Is Jesus the Son of God? Is Jesus God? Is God one part – or three – or more? And we haven’t even got to the ‘Did He actually  exist? Did He perform miracles? and, Do we have to dab Evian on our foreheads, and stick our left knee out when we go to visit him?’  The only question seems to be whether or not I will accept your specific delusion.
Even the architects of the Tower of Babel put down a solid foundation before they started building toward God. You could at least do the same.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

No matter how cynical you are, it’s never enough to keep up.

I learned about scams at a very young age.  My Mother obtained two successive jobs in Detroit during the Dirty Thirties, in the middle of ‘The Great Depression’.  She worked at Burroughs Adding Machine as an assembler, and later moved to a better-paying position in the kitchens of Detroit General Hospital.

Pencils could be bought in a store for 1 cent each.  On the sidewalks of the commercial district where she worked, could be seen a little Jewish man, with a mug half-full of pencils, and a sign, 2 cents each – 100% markup.  Mom said that one time she gave him two pennies, and took a pencil, as many others did.  Some dropped in the two cents, but declined to take one.  Some dropped in the occasional nickel, or even the rare dime.

She shared a tiny apartment in a huge building, amongst several more, with few trees, little green space, and no parks.  Sometimes on Sundays, to get away from the industrial blandness, she and her room-mate would take a bus to a more upscale residential neighborhood.  There they would tour the area, enjoying the shade, the grass, the flowers, and the birds and squirrels, staring longingly at the magnificent homes.

One Sunday, they passed a large red-brick manor home on an acre lot of manicured lawn and gorgeous gardens, behind a six-foot wrought-iron fence.  When they reached the driveway, there was the little Jewish man, washing his Cadillac.  😳

On my Flash Fiction about seeing a roadside beggar, a commenter from England said that a panhandler in his city has been spotted ending his day by climbing into a nice car.  Toronto had a similar scam artist.  The Shaky Lady was regularly seen in the banking district.  She had muscle tremors, a distorted face, and difficulty speaking…. until quitting time, when a Toronto Sun reporter noticed her striding up a side street, and driving away in this year’s Audi.

I’m not saying that begging as a means of support is easy, especially the roadside panhandling.  You have to stand on pavement for hours, exposed to wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, and exhaust fumes.  You can’t eat or drink on the job, or it destroys the image.  You generally can’t take a break, and washrooms are not available – unless there’s a nearby clump of bushes.

One of my biggest objections to individuals supporting themselves in this manner, is that these people are like leeches on society, adding nothing – no goods or services – to the economy and the general welfare.  My other main objection is that most, or all, of the money received is unreported, and no tax is paid on it.  This means that I (and you) have to pay more taxes for infrastructure and social services, like supporting the unfortunates who really need it. Get some ethics!  Get some self-respect! Get a job!

It’s Called Theft

When I was out today, I saw a phone on the table outside a coffee shop that had been left there, so I pocketed it. It started to ring….
I took it out of my pocket and the caller I.D. said ‘Mom’.
I put it back on the table and slowly backed away.
How did she know I was up to no good?

***

Trump managed to do in 4 years, what 80% of presidents didn’t do in 8 years.
Lose an election

***

Two women were playing golf.
The first woman teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole.

The ball hit one of the men. He immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony.

The woman rushed down to the man, and immediately began to apologize. ‘Please allow me to help. I’m a Physical Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you’d allow me,’ she told him.

‘Oh, no, I’ll be all right. I’ll be fine in a few minutes,’ the man replied. He was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands at his groin.

At her persistence, however, he finally allowed her to help. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, loosened his pants and put her hands slowly and carefully inside.

She then administered a tender and skillful massage for several long moments and softly asked ‘How does that feel’?

Feels wonderful, he replied; but I still think my thumb’s broken!

***

A man goes to see a fortune teller.

She begins “your name is Steve”, “Wrong”.
“Your favourite colour is green”, “Wrong”.
“You have a dead uncle who passed away 2 years ago”, “Wrong”.
“Your wife’s name is Carol”, “Wrong”
“You have 2 children named John and Christian”, “Wrong”.
“You are a painte…”, “Wrong”.

Getting flustered the woman asks “What in bloody hell do you do then?”
“I investigate fraud.”

***

A man is walking in the desert with his horse and his dog when the dog says, “I can’t do this. I need water.”

The man says, “I didn’t know dogs could talk.”

The horse says, “Me neither!”

***

Hee-Haw!

What happens when you put a sex-crazed female donkey and Donald Trump in the same room??
Nothing!  Even donkeys have standards.

***

WEBSITE IDEA: “HOT OR NOT?”
Where husbands post pictures of thermostats, and other guys comment on whether to turn it up or down.

***

Did you know today is Pancake Day? Apparently it just crêped up on us….

***

I don’t believe in a deity, but I faithfully observe all holidays that involve baked goods or candy.

***

I don’t think I was a difficult teenager, but I’m not sure my parents would agree. One night, we were discussing over dinner what we wanted to have happen when we died.  I said I didn’t want a funeral; I wanted a party.  Without a pause, my mom said, ”Oh, there’ll be a party.”

***

Jesus decided to help St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  A very old man approached.  Jesus asked him what he had done in his life.  The old man replied that he was a carpenter.
Jesus looked closely.  “Is it??….  Is that you, father?
The old man peered back at him.  “Is that you, Pinocchio?

Answers Without Questions

Here are 36 GOTCHA “Questions For Atheists” that I stole.  None of them seem to have anything to do with his lead paragraph, which said that most Atheists just say that there is no evidence for the existence of God, but some claim that God does not exist – as if there’s a problem or contradiction with that.

  1. Why is there something rather than nothing?

I don’t know – but neither do you!

  1. Is there any evidence that suggests the universe is eternal?

Time began when matter began, and mathematical evidence indicates that happened 13.78 Billion years ago, when the Universe unfurled during the so-called Big Bang.  So far, we cannot know how, or how long, the singularity existed “before” that, because we can’t step outside the universe to find out

  1. If not, why do Atheists hold onto the idea and say you have debunked the Kalam Cosmological Argument?

A few Atheists might, but the majority go with the 13-Billion year Big Bang.  Neither position relates to the Kalam Cosmological Argument – Everything which comes into existence must have a Creator.  This is an unproven claim – which is why it is an “Argument,” not a Proof, or even a Theorem.  Prove that the Universe needs a Creator.  Prove that your God exists.  Prove that ‘your God’ is the Creator.

  1. If so, why do the vast majority of scientists reject this idea?

See above.

  1. Why is the universe so fine-tuned?

The description “fine-tuned” implies intent.  Perhaps, out of an infinity of universes, this is the only one which didn’t re-collapse, or explode, or was suitable for life to begin.

  1. If your answer is the multiverse, why is there no evidence for that theory?

See #2 above.  We can’t step outside this universe to find evidence of others.  Perhaps they no longer exist, to find evidence for.

  1. Is it possible that there is no natural explanation for the origin of life?

There is already at least one proposed natural explanation for the origin of life.  Many ‘Good Christians’ don’t like it, and refuse to accept it, but a ‘natural explanation’ does exist.

  1. Where does consciousness come from?

See #1.  I don’t know, and neither do you!  My admission that I don’t know, is not an indication of weakness in any way.  I am merely not arrogant or desperate enough to make a claim that I can’t prove.

  1. Do you lack a belief that God exists or would you say that God does not exist?

Yes!  I find no evidence that any ‘God’ exists, and therefore lack any belief.  But also, every individual definition/description of God that has ever been presented to me, is so impossible, contradictory, or somehow in error, that I do not believe it exists.

  1. Do you lack a belief that Zeus exists, or do you believe that Zeus does not exist?

See above.  My position of belief in Zeus is precisely the same as my position of belief in the Christian God, the Hebrew Yahweh, the Muslim Allah, or any other supernatural myth.

  1. If you just lack a belief that Zeus exists, why are you centuries behind the rest of the world who say that Zeus doesn’t exist?

Another great GOTCHA question, Bible-thumper.  Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

  1. Do you act according to what you believe, or what you just lack a belief in?

See above.  After carefully removing the word ‘just’, the answer is Yes.  I act according to what I believe.  To do otherwise is defined as insanity.  I also act in ways which avoid things that I don’t believe in, like rich, benevolent Nigerian princes,  overdue income tax penalties that can be paid off with prepaid I-Tunes cards…. and God.

  1. What evidence is there that Atheism corresponds with reality?

What evidence is there that Christianity corresponds to reality?  Two thirds of the world disagrees with it.

  1. Is Atheism a worldview?

Atheism is a position on ONE question – Is there, or is there not – a “God”?  Most Atheists hold wildly varying world views, some of which are influenced by their answer to that question.

  1. If not, what is your worldview?

My worldview is irrelevant to any discussion of the above question.  Shit or get off the pot!  Can you prove that your God exists, or not?

  1. What would convince you that God exists?

I don’t know.  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  The Bible says that God hardens my heart so that I do not believe, so the ‘God’ that you believe in should be able to reverse the spell, and would know what would convince me.  The fact that this has not happened convinces me of His non-existence.

  1. Are you willing to follow the evidence, even if it leads to a different understanding of how the universe works?

YES!  I would ask if you would be willing to do the same, but you have already declared that you would hold onto your faith.

  1. If Jesus rose from the dead, would you become a Christian?

With three provisos – With reliable proof, not claims, or someone else’s desperate beliefs – Depending on the word games that many Apologists play with the meaning of the term, and – I would not want to worship the Christian God, who seems to be an insecure, narcissistic, capricious, homicidal maniac.

  1. If you wouldn’t become a Christian, why would you ever accept that he rose from the dead?

Worry about whether or not you can prove your claims before you worry about whether or not I’ll join your club.

  1. Why do Atheists keep insisting faith is blind trust, when that’s not what Christians or the Bible say?

In Hebrews 11: 1 the Bible says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I’ve seen and heard dozens of Christians who have admitted that’s exactly what faith is.  If there is evidence, or proof, there is no need for faith.

  1. Why do you want material evidence for an immaterial God?

Because many Christians insist that the immaterial God affects the material world – miracles wrought, prayers answered.  I see many such claims, but no evidence of their occurrence.  An invisible God is indistinguishable from a nonexistent God.

  1. Is there a purpose to life?

I do not find any externally-applied (objective) “Purpose To Life.”  The purpose to life is what we make of it.  I regard it as a fortuitous random occurrence, which I am happy to take advantage of.

  1. If there is, by what standard do you determine life has purpose?

The purpose of life, is to reproduce to carry the species forward into the future.  Any purpose to life is whatever the person living it assigns.  Some are laudable, while others are despicable, but all are decided on by the individual involved.

  1. If not, what is the point of listening to this video?

I believe that anyone who thought that there was no purpose to life, would not find any purpose in watching it.  With all 36 silly questions carefully printed out and down-loadable, I found no point of wasting half an hour, running the video.

  1. Where does morality come from?

Wal-Mart!  Seriously, ‘morality’ is evolution-driven empathy helping to assure the survival of our social-animal species, and individuals, through The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number.

  1. How do you determine what is right and what is wrong?

What is right and wrong for me is determined by The Greatest Good, but the For The Greatest Number portion quickly kicks in.  I can’t be totally selfish, because of social opprobrium, banishment, and government action, in the form of fines, imprisonment or execution.  Even Hitler, when he invaded Poland, did not believe that what he was doing was wrong.

  1. When a lion kills a cub from another pride because that’s what natural selection has raised it to do, is that morally acceptable?

Christian Apologists insist that only humans have a soul, therefore, whatever happens in the animal kingdom is neither moral, nor immoral.  I regard this question as deliberate obfuscation and confusion, to cloud the issue.

  1. If evolution has put a sense of morality into us to help us survive, what makes our actions any better than any other animals actions?

Better in what way, and why would they need to be?  We have a higher level of intelligence, and a greater ability to make others of our species aware of the consequences of choices and actions.  Other than that, there is no great difference.

  1. Is it morally acceptable for you kill a toddler because you can no longer financially support it?

No, because there are several other, less drastic solutions to the problem.  Also, to do so constitutes theft, the taking of all the potential experiences and good that the individual might have received, or given out.

  1. Is it morally acceptable to kill a fetus in the womb because you couldn’t financially support it?

The word ‘morally’ is adding a considerable bias to these questions.  It is reluctantly, legally, socially, acceptable to do so, and will continue to be so until implantation into a willing, alternative birth-mother is medically possible.

  1. Is it morally acceptable to kill a baby after it has been born?

Yes!  This is known as Capital Punishment.  The Good Christian States of Texas and Florida have perfected the procedure.  Also see self-defense and, tragically, War.

  1. How can you morally differentiate between a baby in the womb at 6 months and a baby born prematurely at 6 months?

The question is non-relevant, unless the writer wants to reference abortion.  Morally, there is no difference.  Physically, the already-born child has a greater number of people with a greater amount of evolution-generated empathy, concerned for its welfare.

  1. Who was Jesus?

Why do you ask?  Do you not know?  How is the answer, in any way, relevant to this discussion?

  1. Why did his disciples die saying that he rose from the dead?

Why do thousands of people claim that they have been abducted and anally probed by space aliens??  The fact that they believe it does not make it true!

  1. Why does the Bible keep lining up with archaeology? 

Because there were places in the ancient mid-east, which were mentioned, and have been found.  What about Biblical references that do not line up with archaeology, such as Noah’s flood, or the supposed destruction of dozens of cities by the Israelites under Joshua.  One sparrow does not a summer make.

  1. Why do the three bloodiest regimes in History, (Mao’s China, Nazi Germany, and Stalin’s Russia) come from Atheistic ideas?

Simple answer??  They didn’t!  Hitler was a Catholic, and every Armed Forces belt buckle had Gott Mitt Uns (God Is With Us) imprinted on it.  All three of these sociopaths merely wanted to stifle the accepted state religion, and replace it with the religion of personality Idol-Worship, making themselves gods like the Roman Emperors.

This has been far longer than my usual posts.  Thank you to those who had enough interest and stamina to wade through to the end.  I promise something much shorter next time.

Go Directly To Jail – Do Not Pass GO

Monopoly

Doctor Felix Feelgood here.  It’s time to shore up our psyches, and inflate our egos by passing judgement on some more

DUMB
CRIMINALS

She Went Thatta Way, Then Thatta Way, Then Thatta Way, Then …

A woman in Somerset, Massachusetts, was arrested for breaking and entering. But she was quickly caught thanks to her ankle bracelet … the one fitted with a GPS system … that she had gotten from the police … for being on probation from an earlier breaking-and-entering case.

Parlez-vous idiot?

The victim’s jewelry was missing, the electronics were gone, and a window was smashed. No wonder she was hysterical when officer Charanjit Meharu of the Calgary police arrived. Then her French-speaking father called. Speaking in French, she explained that it was all a scam in order to get the insurance money. What she didn’t suspect was that Officer Meharu speaks six languages, including French.

Drug dealer’s office in the police station

Christopher Oxley of Everett, Washington, was arrested for conducting a drug deal over the phone—in the bathroom of the Everett Police Department.

Incarceration? There’s an app for that!

A 12-year-old boy adamantly denied having stolen an iPhone when questioned by police at his home. And then the iPhone rang in his closet. Okay, yes, he stole that. But as for the Blackberry he was also accused of stealing, he double-adamantly denied… *RING!!*

A crime that’s too heavy

Clive Halford thinks big! The British career criminal stole a truck and loaded it with 18 pallets of stolen nickel and copper worth around £150,000 (about $250,000). Yes, the haul was huge—too huge. Cops arrested Halford after the truck’s suspension collapsed under the weight. Earlier, Halford had stolen a car, overloaded it, and broken its suspension too.

‘…just kidding?’

Don’t you hate it when you suffer a heart attack and think you’re going to die, so you confess to a 17-year-old murder, only to find out you’re not going to die and then get sentenced to life in prison as a result? Yeah, so does James Washington, of Nashville, because it happened to him.

You should read the book you stole

Callie Rough of Middletown, Ohio, was picked up for shoplifting from a Dollar General store with her two young children in tow. Among the booty was a book, 101 Ways to Be a Great Mom.

A Molotov cock-and-bull story

Following a dispute, Craig Aylesworth, of Bithlo, Florida, allegedly tossed a Molotov Cocktail at his neighbor’s trailer home … just as the winds shifted, sending embers on to his own trailer. Luckily, he was arrested, since he no longer had a home of his own to return to.

The new Apple iDiot

A San Francisco thief pedaled his bike up to a woman on the sidewalk, snatched the iPhone out of her hands, and rode away. Unknown to him, the woman was in the middle of demonstrating the iPhone’s new GPS tracking device, which worked—the thief was captured minutes later.

‘License and registration and an attorney, please.’

Anthony Kenneth Mastrogiovanni was impersonating a police officer when he pulled over another car for speeding. The driver quickly sussed out that Mastrogiovanni was fibbing since he, too, was a cop, but in his case, the kind of cop who doesn’t have to pretend he’s a cop because he really is a cop. Mastrogiovanni was arrested for impersonating a police officer.

‘Who’re you gonna trust, yourself, or yourself?’

How convenient! Only a few months earlier, an Iowa City, Iowa, man had his driver’s license stolen. Then who should show up at the bar where he worked as a bouncer, but the thief brandishing the bouncer’s very own license as his form of ID.

Should’ve activated your karma alarm

Is there no honor among thieves? While two suspects were being questioned by Ogden, Utah, police about shoplifting from a store, someone broke into their car and stole a stereo and several other items.

This looks like a safe place…

An El Paso, Texas, man busted into a church and absconded with the safe. Safes are heavy, so he only got a few yards before dropping it on a neighbor’s lawn, where he tried to crack it open. That’s when he was confronted by the home’s occupant—a police officer.

There’s one born every minute, so I’ll probably have more of these later.   😳

Flash Fiction #226

Scam

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

I came off the Parkway, to surface streets, and at the top of the ramp stood a 30ish female with a sign saying

Homeless and Hungry
Anything will help

Seat-belted in, guys can’t reach wallets. Women with purses are good marks.

Clothes are neat and clean – there’s an insulated bag, stuffed with something. Under/behind it is a $125 backpack, better than mine. Its carry-handles tied around a sign-post, is a Wal-Mart bag full of groceries, including four cans of Campbell’s soups. It’s hard to make those up over a campfire.

I’m not saying she’s a scammer, but she looks it. 😳

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Friday Fictioneers

WOW #47

Telephone

The Word Of this Week is a word that we all know – or should; it’s

Phishing

Phishing Trip

Ring……..ring……..ring……..
Son – Hello
……..(one second……..(two seconds)……..(three seconds)……..(four seconds) click
(Boiler room – 50 voices in background)
Strike one!
Paki – Hellooo….is this Mr. J. Smith?
Phone is in the wife’s name – Mrs. J. Smith
Strike two!
Son – Yes
Paki – This is the security Department of Visa (Sure it is 😛 )
There are three credit cards in the house, and they are all MasterCards
Strike Three!
Paki – There has been suspicious activity on your Visa card. A few minutes ago, there was a $600 transfer to Western Union. That is often a sign of online fraud. Did you make that transfer?
Son – What are the last four digits you have on that card?
……..Click Yerrr Out!

Sorry! The suckers aren’t biting today – and tell your cousin, the Prince of Nigeria, to stop sending us those get-rich-quick emails.

Remember, folks – TANSTAAFLThere Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – and there’s always someone ready to try to take away a lunch that you’ve already paid for.

Be alert!!
We need all the Lerts we can get. 😉

You’ve been selected to receive money – Sure you have

You’ve won a prize – in a contest you don’t remember entering

Buy a ticket for this foreign lottery – they just change your dollars to rials before they steal them

You’ll get a bonus or gift if you buy now – see TANSTAAFL

They aggressively claim that you owe money on your taxes – no civilized country’s tax department would approach you in this way, or demand payment in prepaid iTunes cards 🙄

The phone rings once, then hangs up – if you have call-display, do not call an unfamiliar number back. It will direct you to a pay-per-minute site

They say that you’ve been the victim of a fraud (see above) – they’re just after your banking information

They offer to fix your computer – they will download all your financial information

They’re selling an extended warranty on your car – talk to your dealer, face-to-face, rather than some unknown on the phone

They won’t answer your questions (see above) – don’t let them deflect or refuse. They have all the answers…. until you ask an inconvenient question

They’re collecting for a charity you’ve never heard of – then why would you donate?? Real charities don’t demand your credit card number over the phone.

They threaten to have you arrested – There are laws which prevent governments and organizations – even collection agencies – from doing this. Just hang up

They want personal information, like Social Security numbers – for identity theft and fraud. If they called you, never give it out.

They’re collecting a debt you don’t remember – you have the right to a mailed copy of any claim. Demand one!

They claim to have kidnapped someone you know – Some scammers now use social media to find the names and whereabouts of your friends and family members, and use that information to impersonate kidnappers and demand ransom money. It may sound terrifying, but it’s most often fake. Definitely don’t pay them anything. Instead, contact your friend or relative immediately, and report the call to the FTC/CRTC or the police.

They want you to invest in something – Unless it’s someone you know, they get no dough!

They just want to confirm your debit or credit card number – this is the fastest way to get defrauded

They want you to make an immediate decision – even if it’s something you want, pressure = fraud. Hang up and do your own research.

The call looks like it’s coming from your own phone – hackers claim that they’re from the phone company, and just want you to verify those magic numbers. Don’t do it!

They’re too friendly – It’s nice to talk to nice people….until they steal you blind. Beware of unknown callers who seem really, Really friendly.

It’s a jungle out there. Keep your eyes on your fries – and your wallet, and online data. 😳

Christian Humor – No Joke

Drivers Licence

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….”

To which his father replied….”Yes, and they WALKED everywhere they went!”

***

What’s the difference between a cult, and a religion??
In a cult, there’s a guy at the top who knows it’s a scam. In a religion, that guy is dead.

***

A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. So he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 100 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES.”

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note. “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.”

***

Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.

“The flight to Egypt,” said Kyle.

“I see … And that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus,” Ms. Terri said. “But who’s the fourth person?”

“Oh, that’s Pontius-the Pilot.”

***

Our pastor, an avid golfer, was once taking part in a local tournament. As he was preparing to tee off, the organizer of the tournament approached him and pointed to the dark, threatening storm clouds which were gathering.

“Preacher,” the organizer said, “I trust you’ll see to it that the weather won’t turn bad on us.”

Our pastor shook his head. “Sorry,” he replied. “I’m sales, not management!

***

Did Jesus pay for our sins with cash or credit card?
He used praypal.

***

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree, that had been pressed in between the pages.

“Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out.

“What have you got there, dear?” his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

***

The Letter

A minister was opening his mail one morning. Drawing a single sheet of paper from one envelope, he found written on it only one word: “FOOL.”

The Sunday he announced, “I have known many people who have written letters and forgotten to sign their name. But this week I received a letter that someone signed but forgot to write the letter.”

 

Church Whisper

A mother took her little boy to church.

While in church the little boy said, “Mommy, I have to pee.”

The mother said to the little boy, “It’s not appropriate to say the word ‘pee’ in church. So, from now on whenever you have to ‘pee’ just tell me that you have to ‘whisper’.”

The following Sunday, the little boy went to church with his father and during the service said to his father, “Daddy, I have to whisper.“

The father looked at him and said, “Okay, just whisper in my ear.”

….This is why moms and dads need to make sure they’re on the same page!  😆

 

Book Review #18

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & The Madness Of Crowds

I am ticked off…. or rather, this book is ticked off the reading list challenge that I don’t follow.

It was originally published before I was born – more than a century before. It was first printed in 1841. The copy that I got on an inter-library loan was reprinted in 1980. It had 3 prefaces – the original, a slightly revised version when the author had it reprinted 30 years later, and yet another from the 1980 re-release.

The 1980 instigator was taking a University Psychology course, when he thought he heard the instructor speaking of an old book about The Madness Of Krauts. He didn’t realize that Germans were called Krauts, that far back. A check of the University library showed him his mistake, but since the copyright had long expired, he felt that he could make a little money by having it reprinted.

This book was a disappointment, yet also a delight to me. Even since the ‘70s, there have been great changes and improvements in psychiatry and psychology, but since I only knew of the 1980 publish date, I hoped to get some fairly up-to-date insights into mob behavior. The 1841 composer rendered none of that. He only provided recountings of historical events which were notable for mass delusion.

These included the likes of the monetary bubble, collapse of the Louisiana Investment scam/scandal, the sad failure of the earliest attempt at a German Crusade, and the ongoing hysteria of the witch hunts. While the historical details were interesting enough, he delivered them all with the long-winded panache of someone reciting a Life Insurance actuarial table.

With the German Crusade, 100,000 young men were said to have started out, but only a handful survived, even to reach Constantinople, because of fighting among themselves, and with the armies of states and countries they marched through and denuded for food and drink.

As usual, the section on the witch hunts provided the worst atrocities. It was both a Church and State viewpoint that, “Because of the seriousness of this offence, none who are accused of this horrid crime shall escape torture to make them confess their sins. It is better that a million shall die, than that one witch shall be allowed to escape.”

Even while trying to do good, the well-intentioned did bad. As the witch-hunt frenzy was ebbing, a minor member of British Nobility tried an experiment. He was unconvinced that torture-induced confessions, and especially the naming of other witches, was valid.

He was acquainted and friends with, two Jesuit priests who acted as judges at the torture trials. To convince them of his viewpoint, he used a woman accused and imprisoned as a witch. They all attended the torture chamber, and he acted as interrogator. He had the woman stretched on the rack, and afflicted with the gamut of horrible tortures. Within a day, she admitted that she was a witch. Skillfully using leading questions, he also had her claim that the two Jesuits were wizards, calling them by name.

As they left the building, leaving the poor woman to her undeserved fate, the senior priest said, “It is well that this was done by a friend, rather than by an enemy.” And so, the witch-hunt frenzy slowly died, but not before thousands of innocent people also suffered and died.

This book is old enough to display some of the some of the English language’s spelling shifts. Words like ‘showed’, and ‘shown’ were printed as shewed, and shewn. While it was not what I thought I was getting, still it was an interesting read.