Saturday, February 12, 2011

What WILL they think of next?

Those naughty boys from The Continent Which Must Be Named have found a new variation on their Un-namable Letter. They are still attempting to share a multi-million dollar legacy with you (if only you will allow them to process the funds through your private checking account ... as if that wouldn't be noticed by your bank!), but this the catch is that the 'solicitor' cannot access the funds directly because he is "under-aged". But still, they have a "business deal" which sounds just entirely too good to be true.

And of course, it is.

I rarely get these kinds of letters, and probably lyou don't either. For your edification and amusement, here is the unsolicited letter I received this week from my would-be benefactor, Mr. Gred Jacomet:

I am really interested to do business with you, actually I have strong plans to relocating to Europe in Three (3) weeks time for some business and also to invest there, this is a business proposal which I want us to be in partnership, we will execute this business then you will get your own percentage share and I get mine.

With trust and gratitude I faithfully contact you knowing that this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take your time to go through this mail carefully as the decision you make will go a long way to determine my future and continued existence.

I will make my proposal well known if I am given the opportunity and I would like to introduce myself to you. I am Mr. Gred Jacomet, 17 years old, a Liberian schooling in England, My (late) father Dr. George Jacomet was the Managing Director of Gold and Diamond Mining company in Monrovia-Liberia in west Africa, but he was wickedly poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outing in Oversea.

Consequently, after his death, I managed to escape with a very important document of (?8.5m) Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds deposited by my late father in a Bank, which I am the Next of Kin. Meanwhile I am saddled with the problem of securing a trust worthy foreign personality to help me transfer the money over to Europe in your custody and await my arrival to come and meet you for Investment purposes. I am willing to give you 15% of this amount if you can stand in for me and retrieve the money from the bank because I am under-aged to handle this transaction. The amount was deposited as bond and I can write the bank a letter, introducing you as my relative, this way the bank will deal with you directly on the transfer modalities and when the money is transferred to you, I will meet with you. Furthermore, you can contact the bank for more confirmation and I will issue a letter of authorization in your name, that will enable the Bank to deal with you
on my behalf. I am giving you this offers as mentioned with every confidence on your acceptance to assist me and take me as your brother or as your son and manage the money. Conclusively, I wish you send me a reply immediately as soon as you receive this proposal.

For confidential purposes, your urgent reply will be highly appreciated. Please do send me your full information, so that I will send it to the bank in London if you are interested:

1. Your Full Names:
2. Your Address:
3. Your Sex:
4. Your Age:
5. Your Marital Status:
6. Your Occupation:
7. Your Direct Phone Number:
8. Your Resident City:
9. Your Resident State:
10. Your Country:

With best regards,

Gred Jacomet

A nice Irish boy like this would not try to harm you, would he?

Please note that I have "sanitized" this text by passing it through a text editor. There are no hidden links.

Here are a few clues about how to recognize the falsity of this kind of solicitation:
  • It's unsolicited
  • Bad grammer, awkward sentence structure, poor spelling, other indicators of semi-illiteracy.
  • NOT addressed to you personally
  • No "real" contact information
  • A corresponding demand for YOUR detailed contact information and "other" personal information.
  • The circumstances of (a good business partner) don't seem to describe you, so you wonder ... "why the heck is this stranger writing to me?"
Of course it's just a blind pig. A random marketing ploy, a mass-mailing to hundreds of thousands of email addresses collected all over the world, with the hope that only a handful of recipients will respond.

And if you respond ... your email address is immediately noted as "currently active", they have just marked you as a potential "cash cow", and they will take you as far down the road to poverty as you will permit them.

Laughable? Of course it is. Still, every year there literally BILLIONS of dollars lost to this sort of vicious opportunism.

I wish I could send this email to my mother, bless her heart, because I worry that someday she may be so soft-hearted that she can be taken by this or a similar lament.

On the other hand, she has no more disposable income than do I, so we're mostly safe from these guys.

Sometimes it's good to be poor; but as this letter shows, everybody is worth milking, because the only investment the originator has is their time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Will America Let Us Shut Off Our Power System?

None Dare Call It Treason ..
but this guy does.
Alex Jones Calls Out Obama for Treason Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
I don't know who this "Alex Jones" guy is, or whether or not his premise is Legitimate. I have "issues" when someone accuses the President of the United States of America of being a "traitor" (or more commonly, here, of being guilty of "Treason")

I'm not as sure as this commentator seems to be that President Obama is a "traitor",. although I admit that I'm uncomfortable with some of his policies. Okay, several of his policies.

The full quote from Ovid is:
Treason doth never prosper:
what's the reason?
Why if it prosper,
none dare call it treason.
These are my thoughts on Treason.
Let us get back to the comments presented currently by Alex Jones.

I don't know who this man is. I've never heard of him before, and I have no idea whether I'm inclined to accept his arguments or not.

  • Kyoto Protocol
  • Carbon Taxes
  • Cap and Trade
These concepts, I have barely enough understandingso that I know whether I am "Pro" or "Con". In all of the above, I am against them. I believe that they have dubious benefits for Environmentalists, and also that they have a negative influence on the Wealth of a Nation.

Also, that the concepts --- if enacted in this country --- would have a negative influence on the wealth of THIS nation (America), while providing a positive economic advantage to "other nations (China is the first country which springs to mind).

So if it is true that President Obama has taken an official, enforceable stance against Coal Powered Electricity Power Plants in America, then yes; I do believe that this "unilateral" national policy, which imposes no similar limits on the "carbon emissions" of other countries, may truly and unilaterally undermine our national "power wealth". This is by definition without requiring other power-using nations, such as China, to reciprocate.

And that serves only the singular purpose to impose expensive limitations on America, with no attempt to impose similar limitations on our competitors, which would at least providing a balancing influence.

That is to say ... if we are obliged to limit our power generation under a given set of circumstances, should noit our competitors be obliged to limit their power generation under the same circumstances?

this affects our national wealth, our national well-being, and our ability to compete on the world market.

I am very curious as to why our national leadership would agree to such egregious limitations when our "partners" are not required to agree to similar, if not identical, limitations

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Teaching and Shooting: It's All Good

To my great surprise, I discovered today that teaching an "Introduction to USPSA" class is a great way to get some range time.

My training technique is "Tell, Show, Shoot" approach.

  • First I tell the students what they will be doing on each stage of the Life Fire Excercises;
  • Then I show them what it lo0ks like ( in slow-time, preferably, so they can see what is happening"
  • Then the each come up to The Line and emulate what they have had described, and what they have seen.
This approach has multiple values as a training regimen. It becomes crystal clear to each student what must be done to solve the "shooting problem", and it re-enforces the concept that one need not shoot quickly to perform well.

In fact, the mantra (is there is one) is that "the fastest shooter doesn't necessarily win the stage".

And the apotheosis is :
Q: what is the most common mistake mistake made by new shooters?
A: Shooting too fast.

In fact, the fastest shooter sometimes DOES win the stage, but that's only true when the "fastest shooter" in only quick, but accurate. And experienced.
But that doesn't really deliver the message, so for "new shooters" we emphasize Accuracy.

And we tell them that "speed will come ... when you someday discover that you can shoot as accurately at a higher speed".

It's true, but for 99% of us, it's not true. The exceptions do NOT prove the rule; rather, they are a distraction for those of us who must work to achieve proficiency. So we don't teach it: we teach accuracy, and if every shot isn't an "A-Zone" hit, we reinforce that by saying "Shooting To Fast ... Slow Down!"


Running a class is a wonderful way for us to get a Reality Check on our own skill set. We tend to think that we are so experienced that we can do no wrong, but in truth that is is bogus thinking. Perhaps the best thing we can do is to dial it down to whatever percent (80%? 50%?) and let the hits fall where they may. Or misses ... if nothing else, it may prove that the best purpose we serve as Instructors is to provide a bad example. There's nothing like standing in front of a class of earger students, and admitting that you missed the freaking target.

Reality check? No, it's a valid test of their ability to score a target which includes a miss. If you have taught the class right, the students do not miss the target. Sometimes, your (*my?*) own fallibility is the best training tool available.

If you are a trainer, it may be a very useful technique to demonstrate that experienced shooters can get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and ... "Shoot Too Fast".


It has been a while since ARPC (Albany Rifle and Pistol Club) has been able to conduct an "Introduction to USPSA" class. But with the improved weather and the uncommon fair weather we have experienced as a consequence of the "Global Warming" phenomenon, several (six) people chose February in Oregon as a good time to take the class and learn what they need to know before beginning IPSC competition.

We have a training manual (online) which is down loadable in Oregon. Not everyone chose the option of going through the manual, and completing the exercises before the class. Fortunately, the gun-handling skills of the attendees was excellent, on the average, and there were no problems in the class.

People who shoot in competition ... or want to do so ... tend to be (if I can make an observation) intelligent, responsible and competent, so we had NO problems during the training. I was pleased that everyone who attended was able to focus on competition issues, and not on basic gun-handling skills. Or, in other words, nobody screwed up to the degree which would have required me to flunk them from the class.

We got through the one hour of classroom instruction okay, and the surprises of actually going through the live-fire drills was decidedly more rewarding than problematic. As I had no demonstrator, I was "forced" to act as the demonstrator myself; this solved the problem of "describe, SHOW and experience" and also served to allow me some "Range Time" of my own.

The thing is, I shoot in competition because I love to shoot. And everyone in the class demonstrated their own personal devotion to "Let's Go Shoot Some Cardboard".

At the end of day ... okay, I'm not going to say that everyone had shot enough to satisf them, but we had a lot of fun and everyone shot safely. What else are we here for?