Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Pirates of the Somalibbean
There are pirates. And then, there are pirates.
There are historical pirates, like the notorious, blood-thirsty Blackbeard. There are movie pirates, like the recent Captain Jack Sparrow, or the more classic Captain Blood and Captain Geoffrey Thorpe. There are cartoon pirates, like Captain Yosemite Sam, forever thwarted by a waskily wabbit. There are fantasy pirates, like Captain Hook, who fares ill against imaginative, scrappy boys, fairies, and alligators. And there are the Pittsburgh Pirates, who put the *suck* in the word suck, but there I think I digress. Arrrrrr.
Pirates, privateers, buccaneers, scaliwags, terrorists...today, a pirate by any other name is a pirate despite the name change, and despite what your definition of "is" is. Except, perhaps, to a small segment of the dissatisfied, the dispossessed, the anarchy-minded, and/or the terror-oriented. Pirates have been a thorn in the side of civilized society for a significant part of the human experience, though have proven to be opportunistically beneficial to different "civilized" societies at one time or another, not to mention at least one timeless children's story.
Pirates have been with us since perhaps the advent of human exploration, trade and migration via the sea. Pirates wrought havoc in the Aegean and Mediterranean throughout the eras of Homer's Iliad (the siege of Troy); in the time of Thermopylae; throughout the rise and fall of the Persians, Greeks, Spartans, Thebes, Athens, the Macedonian Alexander the Great, Carthage, Rhodes, Rome, et al. Pirates opportunistically negotiated with Spartacus during the great slave rebellion AND with Rome; at different times, different powers of the day alternatively found themselves allied with, and at odds with, the pirates. One Roman warlord -- Pompey the Great -- waged a successful land and sea campaign to largely stamp out piratical activities to the east and west of Rome, along critical trade routes from Italy to her eastern and western empire in 67 BC, only to see their resurgence at a later time, as Roman attentions were turned inward, aka Julius Caesar vs Pompey, etc., as well as to more landward threats, aka the various nomadic tribes of militaristic migratory inclinations. Pirates saw other rises and falls, such as with the advent of the fledgling US Navy in the early 1800s; a short time later, US privateers were used to advantage against the British during the War of 1812; they also had their day against the North by the South during the American Civil War, under the guise of "commerce raiders".
Throughout known chronology, pirates have ebbed and flowed on the human tide of Time. Pirates' fortunes have risen and fallen with the times, technology, and the aging of Peter Pan. Pirates have been demonized, blasphemized, romanticized, fantasized, lionized and supersized (on some of those honkin' big drink cups at various fast food restaurants).
Even as time advances, and technology takes incredible leaps forward, piracy remains in being, well into the advent of the 21st Century. While Captain Jack Sparrow garners millions on movie screens world-wide, real pirates garner millions, continuing to prey on commerce along sea lanes in southeast Asia; and more recently, they have enjoyed a resurgence of noteworthy success along the sea approaches to the Persian Gulf.
I give you the next Hollywood (un)extravaganza: Pirates of the Somalibbean.
On a political blog I visit (Right Truth), a post about the Somali pirates (aka, terrorists) and a couple of the subsequent comments from readers, drew a tart response from one reader, decrying what he saw as the lumping of all Somalis with the pirates, and the lumping of all Muslims, likewise, in what he referred to as "mindless bigotry".
Perhaps a fair complaint; not all Somalis are pirates; not all Muslims are pirates from Somalia. Fact is, it's not a lockstep certainty that all of the pirates operating from Somalia's east coast ARE Somalis. It's probably not a lockstep certainty that all of the aforementioned pirates are Muslims.
Then again, it appears -- from all intelligence accounts -- that fair portions of the substantial ransom sums being collected by these no-declared-nationality-or-religious-affiliation pirates, from the ships seized from countries and shipping companies that would rather pay than fight, is finding its way into the coffers of Muslim extremists, like Al Qaida.
So perhaps the shoe fits, eh?
There's something of an argument afoot in the world community as to just what should be done about this piratical activity off the coast of Somalia. Recently, an Indian warship engaged and destroyed a pirate "mother ship". Personally, I applaud India for taking a definitive stand. Not everyone else is so sure.
Some have suggested that it is the problem of the countries whose ships have been seized; many of these countries have a merchant marine, but no military navy of any practical consequence. Others suggest that it calls for a regional response, from countries with their own varying irons in the fire. Still others think that the substantial US Navy -- just as it did in the early 1800s -- should weigh anchors and kick some piratical ass, regardless of nationality and religious affiliation that gets waded into.
But, still others -- fearing to further tarnish our image abroad with terrorists and other countries that don't care a row of pins for our existence -- think we should steer clear of it entirely, and leave it up to the United Nations to mediate.
Yep...that'll put a skeer in them waskily piwates..hahahaha.
I reckon that after some serious committee meetings, general session debates, and plenty of festive dinners to celebrate having achieved next-to-nothing -- UN SOP -- a vaunted and earth-shaking resolution will be issued by the UN, and addressed to the Somali-et al-Muslim-et al pirates, that is sure to have an immediate impact on their activities.
I reckon it will read something akin to the following:
From: The UN
Date: Sometime in 2009, if they get to it
Subj: A Plea For Cessation Of Untoward, If Justified, Activities
Dear Persons with obvious grievances,
We of the UN have become aware of your rather untoward activities in the Indian Ocean area not far from the Persian Gulf, and we are most distressed by this. We are most distressed that you find it necessary to act in a manner not entirely consistent with "we are the world, we are the children". We deeply regret that you feel this way. Indeed, we feel a sense of responsibility for your untoward activities and negative view of some of our membership body. Truth be told, we tend to agree with some of that feeling, though we have to be a bit careful about speaking too loud, elsewise our landlords might kick our butts out of this very posh headquarters we enjoy at their taxpayers' expense. But we digress.
We realize that your activities, untoward as they appear, are probably a reaction to the injustice, greed and mean-spiritedness you see in the world, especially from one sphere of it. We realize that your current actions -- kind of technically violations of maritime and world law, at least in one very strict sense of the word, a sense that we don't completely agree with in your case, may we add -- are just the most effective way you can voice your grievances to the injustice, greed and mean-spiritedness that you have had to endure for generations, since it's been too much to ask you to turn to, act responsibly, pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and build yourselves a better life through hard work, innovation, education and peaceful cooperation. Rest assured that we won't do that to you.
We are nonetheless required by a petty segment of world opinion -- and we apologize for having to do this in advance of doing it -- to ask you, pretty please, stop this understandable, if not altogether proper activity of yours, as it regards seizing ships on the open sea, and holding them for multi-million dollar ransoms. Again, we want you to understand that we completely sympathize with your situation and worldview. But because we are required by the aforementioned petty segment of world opinion -- those capitalist dogs -- to take action, we simply must notify you in writing that if you don't stop misbehaving, we will be forced to pass another one of those countless resolutions we are so good at passing. And while it won't amount to spit in the ocean, and will have little umph behind it to enforce or impose any meaningful sanctions whatsoever, we cannot rule out the possibility that one or more nations from that petty segment of world opinion, might take a different view of this resolution, and take advantage of it to resort to...*gasp*...rather harsh, unwarranted and totally uncalled-for military action against your righteous selves.
Of course, we'll do all in our lack of power to try to prevent that, but if you could see your way clear to helping us by at least mitigating some of your activities -- at least until some of the media has a good American-based political or entertainment scandal to get themselves into a dither over, losing focus on this issue entirely, easily-distracted as the infidels in the American media are -- we of the UN General Assembly would very greatly appreciate it, and we'll work quietly behind the scenes to make it up to you, soon as possible.
Thank you for any assistance and cooperation you deem to provide us.
Most humbly and sincerely yours,
Yawp...that's, I reckon, what the UN would send to those Somali Muslim pirates. DOH...did I just make a politically incorrect gaffe there? I do hate when that happens. Just as I'll tend to hate when or if a US Navy warship has the occasion to send a few boatloads of these Somali Muslim pirates to meet their 72 virgins in Davy Jones' Locker, only for the just martyred to find out that the virgins are sharks.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sometimes, they don't come back.
Instead of boring you with a current and ongoing saga of yet another email scammer -- I have them coming out of my ears hyar -- here's a series of four scammers who, when receiving my cordial reply, elected to seek more clement scamming grounds.
For the life of me, I can't imagine why. Maybe you can, when you read what passes for cordiality with me.
Take for example, Mrs. Linna Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org), who titled her email plea to me "Thanks So Much and God Bell You". I don't even remember her scam angle; I just couldn't get over that header. Bet she does, though:
Madam Linna: "God Bell Me"? What the flying fish f*** do I look like, a cow or a cat? A f***ing railroad crossing? Do you suggest my ass is so big, I have to sit down in shifts, and need an OSHA mandated back-up alarm? Awaiting precise clarification, you nippleheaded dingbat!
Danged if that wasn't the end of communications from Madam Linna Marshall.
Next up was Barrister Ken Moore (email@example.com), with the usual pitch for me to be a next-of-kin stand in for another of those deceased engineers who died in a plane crash in Nigeria. Surprise, surprise. But this wasn't your ordinary made-up dead engineer: he wanted me to be a next-0f-kin fill-in for Philip Wang. I'm surprised that he didn't write back after this reply:
Dear Bannister: let me get this straight. You have contacted me for the sole purpose of having me stand in as a substitute next of kin for a dead wang? That's pretty lame, Bannister. You wish me to be a substitute for a dead wang? You realize that a dead wang is a limp wang that nobody wants, right? Unless, of course, they're into necrophilia. Ack. And you're asking me to step down to be a stand-in for a dead wang? I find this hard to get ahold of, Bannister. That you'd actually ask me, a total stranger, to become your substitute dead wang. Are you really sure I'd fit your kneads on this? I suggest, Bannister, that you look elsewhere for your fill-in wang. PS: you might think you knead me, but try it and I'll clock your pervert arse into the next country code.
Some peoples' perverted kids, I'm tellin' ya.
And there was a new one: Mr. and Mrs. Nelly Oshea (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote to me and asked if I would be kind-hearted and adopt their pet Yorkie puppy, as "she was not adapting well to the rigours of weather in Africa". And that they would take care of all expenses, save for some licensing fee of $350 US dollars, which they were sure I'd be happy to pay, in exchange for knowing that their "cherished Yorkie puppy" was in a happy home.
If my pet rock Seymour had been here, I'd of let him answer this one, what with his getting his share of peed on by various and sundry hounds before I liberated him from the apartment complex landscaping. But since he's still in Japan, I made short work of the 'adopt a Yorkie' scam:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Whoa Nelly: I would be most interested in adapting your Yorki. They are superb when prepared like cornish game hens, baked or broiled, and garnished with parsley and a side of hash browns. Don't you agree? When can I expect dinner?
Apparently, never from them.
And finally, I get some really interesting scam artists writing to me. Some, because of what they write; some, because of how they write. But this one scored a reply because of who he wrote as: Wada Dada.
My reply to him had nothing to do with his scam (the ATM card ploy) or anything related; I simply made elementary school playground baaaaaad skunk with his name:
You're "Wada Dada"? "Wada Dada"? Mwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!*snort* Yer killing me hyar, Wada! Mwhahahahahahhahahahahahahaha....stop it, stop it!
*ah hem* "Wada Dada"?
whahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yo' daddy musta been the Don Rickles of Scamland, to name you that 'un! "Wada Dada"?
Just how the hell does anyone take you serious, Wada? "With a name like Wada Dada, you know it's .... whwhahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahaha...*gasp*..I can't breathe!
Oh well...I don't even know why you wrote. And I don't care. Thanks for the moments of pure mirth, "Wada Dadamwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha!" *pounding the table*
The lack of reply suggests I mighta hurt his feelings hyar. In keeping with my mean-spirited conservative streak, I sure hope so.
"Wada Dada"? Mwhahahahahhahahahahahahahaha.....
Saturday, November 15, 2008
To Cull A Mocking Herd
The photo above is the first of about a dozen she sent me, as "Irina". From Gorky, Russia. 26 years old. Single, never married, no kids. Lives with her parents, brother and sister in a four room flat. Works in the health care industry. Communicates via an internet cafe. Finds Russian men are rude, rough, frequently drunk, and treat their women like "bad dogs" (her words). Irina wants a better life, and knows she can have one, in America. She knows this because her girl friend Nataliya met a nice American man on the internet, and now "they are happy to be joined in married matamony in Florida". And thus, she has written to me, hoping to "begin a start to new life with dream man".
*cracking knuckles*...I..er..Curly is so there, and with all of my favorite "dead" puns, used to excess.
Of course, the photo of "Irina" -- and all those that followed -- had previously come to me as Katya, Olga, Ekat, and at least one other that's slipping my mind just now (a few blog entries back, when as Jack N. Ewehoff, I was "her Jack") over the past year or so.
And as most of you know well, the real "Curly" is buried at the Home of Peace Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, and has been so for the past 56 years. But that doesn't stop "Curly" from cultivating a very amiable -- and quickly, a very passionate -- relationship, that after 20 email exchanges, results in "Curly" asking "Irina" to marry him, and "Irina" gleefully agreeing.
Provided, of course, that "Curly" will send "Irina" money enough to bring her over to the USA -- via Gorky to Moscow, and onward -- and include in there money for her papers, etc.
About $2200 US dollars, in total.
At this time, "Curly" is also fencing with "Anastasia" and "Olga" (using different sets of photos, but both sets I have received and seen before, from and with other scammers), while "Jack" is fencing with "Anastasiya" and "Yuliya" on another email address. And this doesn't count another scam project that was underway during some of this (earlier noted in a joint effort with Bob McCarty Writes), along with yet another scambait project I'm working on.
In short, it was getting high time to cull down the herd a bit. And Irina won the first cull.
So after "Irina" sent "Curly" instructions on where he was to send the $2200 US dollars via Western Union (to an address purported to be in Moscow, and a Vladimir Potempkin, purported to be a travel agent), and "Curly" didn't respond within 48 hours, a worried "Irina" sent this:
Hello my Curly! I did not recieve news from you! the travel agent get no news from you! you are perfectly in order? With you happens nothing? I anxious to wait your letter my man kitten (what is this with the pet nickname, "man kitten"?; she's about the sixth or so that's dubbed me that). I love to you, Irina.
I reckoned that this was as good a place and time to get with the culling. And here, in one email, is one pretty guaranteed way a guy can go from a head-over-heels love relationship, to absolute squat*:
My darling Irina,
I get caught up in the moment sometimes, and forget about the science of my reality. Love can do that in this realm, just as it does in yours, as I still remember. Truth is, I sent your travel agent the money. And the transfer 'bounced' back. It was then that I realized the hurdle that we face in our life together.
And as currently constituted, we can't have one, unless it is an affair of interdimensional emails. Kinda like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton via a medium (or in Hillary's case, a large...nyuk nyuk).
I attach, for your edification, a picture of my current residential address here in Los Angeles, CA (it's a picture of Curly's gravestone). This is where I "live", so to speak. Or at least, where what's left of my corpse reposes.
You see, I'm biologically expired. In the Ozarks part of the USA -- a rather rustic, laid back kinda place -- that means "ah'm daid as a cain o' corned beef". Irina, I died in January of 1952. And each morning since, my spirit arises here, in this realm. But my corpse refuses to, and is less likely to by each passing decade. There's a technical term for it: some folks call "death, rot and decay". A bit of a nuisance, but as in any untoward situation, as one door closes, others open. Opportunity knows no dead-ends -- sorry for the pun, which I intended, nyuk nyuk -- and in my case, a "door into summer" opportunity opened. And here, on the Third Astral Plane, on the dimension of Marduk, life IS perpetual summer, and I am as I was, in my prime back in your reality.
Just the rest of me remains where remains usually do, once buried, of corpse. *rimshot*
Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, "WTFski?" Let me 'splain it. You emailed me. Somehow, a psychic connection was established, and your karma was led across the astral bridge to mine, where your email arrived to me at the TimeStream Lab, here on the Third Astral Plane. It is here that the best crossed-over brains in the spirit world labor to promote and expand instrumental transcommunication, allowing the spirit world to communicate with the physical realm of Earth. It's pretty technical, but I can tell you that I don't understand one f***ing bit of it. I just know you found me. And we struck up an interdimensional love. One we can't consummate.
Unless you want to travel to Los Angeles, dig up my bones, and go for it there. And I don't think either of us will get much pleasure from that. Especially you, on some of my bone spurs. Ewww.
But don't despair, my eternal love. Whenever your time comes, and you cross over -- if you don't go by way of Satan's Big BBQ Pit And Suds Saloon, one helluva place, I'm told -- we'll be able to tie the knot here on Marduk, and live happily ever after, except when these friggin' wings do their annual molt. Kinda like your time of the month now, but just once a year, thankfully. The cramps keep one clouded (the physical realm equivalent of grounded).
But if you're as open-minded as I reckon you could be, perhaps, we can stay in touch, yes?
You eternal love, Curly
It took one day, and "Curly" was left with no doubt as to the viability of his last question:
You sick person! Waste my time with big story! Leave to me never write again you sick assperson!
Of course, my ex-fiancee knew it was this easy for me to lose a 'love', just as I know it was as easy for her to sink the Titanic in passing *wink*. But I digress...
* I'm sure there are lots of other ways as well, like one I've heard of called 'rodeo sex': once atop her, tell her that "you're almost as good as your sister", and then try to stay on for 8 seconds. No sister, you say? Then use her best friend, her mom...whatever...