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Sunday, July 05 2015 @ 09:49 PM CDT

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Warning: nasty, tricksy phishing attack e-mail

This is a Public Service Announcement. Delete without opening any e-mail you receive that looks like it is from anybody at:

The subject of the e-mail is usually something like:
Rejected ACH Payment
and the text of the e-mail usually goes something like this:
The ACH transfer (ID: 1234567890123), recently sent from your bank account (by you or any other person), was rejected by the other financial institution.

Rejected transfer
Transaction ID: 1234567890123

Rejection Reason See details in the report below

Transaction Report
report_1234567890123.pdf.exe (self-extracting archive, Adobe PDF)
Please click here to download report:
http://MYNACHA-REPORT-DOMAIN(rest of it screwed up so you won't go there by mistake).INFO

13450 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 100 Herndon, VA 20171 (703) 561-1100
2011 NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association

Now, the NACHA is a real organization. But here's what they say about this nasty little con:

NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association has received reports that individuals and/or companies have received a fraudulent email that has the appearance of having been sent from NACHA and signed by a non-existent NACHA employee. Specifically, this email claims to be from the “Electronic Payments Association” and appears to be coming from the email address "” See a sample of the email below.

Be aware that phishing emails frequently have attachments and/or links to Web pages that host malicious code and software. Do not open attachments or follow Web links in unsolicited emails from unknown parties or from parties with whom you do not normally communicate, or that appear to be known but are suspicious or otherwise unusual.

NACHA itself does not process nor touch the ACH transactions that flow to and from organizations and financial institutions. NACHA does not send communications to individuals or organizations about individual ACH transactions that they originate or receive.

If malicious code is detected or suspected on a computer, consult with a computer security or anti-virus specialist to remove malicious code or re-install a clean image of the computer system.

Always use anti-virus software and ensure that the virus signatures are automatically updated.

Ensure that the computer operating systems and common software applications security patches are installed and current.

Additional information and guidance on phishing is available from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Be alert for different variations of fraudulent emails.

Don't be scammed. If you don't recognize who it's from, delete it without reading it. If you're not sure, you might take a peek, using your mail client's "view source" function, if it has it. (In Thunderbird, which I use, it's under View >> Message Source).

I don't work for NACHA or anybody else for that matter, it's just that con men piss me off.
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Barcelona bans bikinis?

. . . on the city streets? That's just wrong.
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Of Birth Certificates and Snipes

Over at Ace of Spades HQ, proprietor Ace has been fighting a rear-guard action against a renewed assault upon the gates by those who insist that There Is Something Going On with Obama's birth certificate.

Here's my position:

It's a snipe hunt. (Credit to AoSHQ commenter Full Moon for the first reference to "snipe hunting.")

Let's break this down to the quark level of comprehension so I can demonstrate where I'm coming from. You see, I don't know if Obama was born in Honolulu or not. By that I mean I do not have first-hand personal knowledge of the event. Therefore, I must depend on the reports of others to either confirm or deny that this event occurred.

Everybody with me so far?
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Round Two-Keynes vs. Hayek

And, Round One below the fold:
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More on that "fairness" thing

From Veronique de Rugy at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, who apparently had some time on her hands this weekend. Two graphs:

So, tell me again how the richest Americans somehow aren't paying "their fair share?" The top 20% of taxpayers are already the only segment of Americans who paying more by percentage in income taxes than they're making in income. They're already paying 67% of the bills, but only make 53% of the money.

The "progressives" are right. This isn't fair. But not the way that they want you to believe.

The rich pay more. That makes everybody else, to some extent, freeloaders, riding in the big wagon of the U.S. economy but not pulling their weight by paying taxes equivalent to what they're earning.

Unless "fair" somehow doesn't mean that everyone should pay for our government according to their ability to pay. Strange how "progressives"/Democrats don't even believe in the classic Marxist saying "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need." They apparently believe only in the second half of that construction, and to hell with the part about "from each according to their ability."

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"Mission Accomplished: 2016"

China's economy will surpass the U.S. in 2016
According to the IMF (International Monetary Fund--filbert) forecast, whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.

Most people aren’t prepared for this. They aren’t even aware it’s that close. Listen to experts of various stripes, and they will tell you this moment is decades away. The most bearish will put the figure in the mid-2020s.

Considering that China has 1,200 million people and the USA has 320 million or thereabouts, on the face of it, that China's domestic economy would at some point exceed the American economy is not itself unthinkable.

But what we see is that China, despite the shackles, impediments and restrictions imposed by their authoritarian government, is totally committed to economic growth, while the current American government shows over and over again that what it is totally committed to is feathering the nests of their cronies, and protecting the political fiefdoms and special government benefits of their special interest groups. The one thing that the current regime in Washington is NOT focused on is national economic growth.

Despite what some overeducated East Coast deep-thinkers may deeply think, this is not evidence of the quintessential superiority of the Chinese neo-Communist command-economy dictatorship "model." It is evidence of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the American "progressive" elites.

But, in 2016, the globalist/internationalists in the "progressive" left, lead by their standard-bearer, Obama, can declare "Mission Accomplished." They have finally achieved their decades-long goal of bringing America back into the "community of nations."

Reward them appropriately in November, 2012. And in every subsequent election thereafter until they disabuse themselves of the "progressive" fantasy--or they fantasize themselves to historical oblivion.
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How does $67,200 a year sound?

That's how much we are spending on welfare programs, based on a family of four--$16,800 per person. That was in 2008, according to the Heritage Institute, as reported in the Forbes Magazine. We're spending more now.

What's that you say? Poor people aren't anywhere near that much money? Well, no, I guess they're not. Where's all that money going then, if it's not getting to the people we're supposed to be helping?

Is there maybe a reason why Washington, DC is the richest metropolitan area in the country?

Maybe it would make more sense to eliminate all of the dizzying number of government giveaway programs, and just institute a Department Of Cutting Checks To Poor People, and be done with it. It would be cheaper for the productive people, the poor would wind up getting more money. The only people such a move would hurt would be the government bureaucrats--and the politicians who live by taking money from people then turning around and buying their votes with it.

Re-focus society on using religious and charitable organizations to assist people--this strengthens those organizations, this strengthens the people they help, this strengthens all of society by binding us together in a way government can never, ever do.

The old, "progressive" ways do not work. That is obvious now to anyone with eyes to see. We need to start finding a new way.
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An Easter Conversation

Hillbuzz asked for suggestions about how to discuss politics at the table, this Easter holiday. Here's my suggestion:
You: "Wow, everything seems like such a mess. What are we going to do to fix things?"

Other Person: "I dunno. Make the rich pay their fair share."

You: "Well, yeah, you're right, everybody should pull their own weight. But that brings up the next question--what's fair? According to information released by the IRS (and compiled by the Tax Foundation), the top 1% of American taxpayers earn 20% of the money but pay nearly 40% of the taxes. The top 5% earn 35% of all earned income, but pay 58% of all income taxes. The top 50% of all earners earn 87% of the income, and pay 97% of the taxes, which means the bottom 50% earns 13% of the income but only pay 3% of the taxes.

"The three biggest government programs other than national defense--Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, mostly benefit the poorer people, because the richer people don't usually need them. So, poor people pay the least and get the most, and rich people pay the most and get the least. So, you know, we get back to the question--what's fair?"

Other Person: "Well, all that's well and good, but the rich are getting richer!"

You: "Actually, no, they're not, according to the latest statistics from the Treasury Bureau, they took a hit just like everybody else in the country--since 1996, the median household income of the very top earners went down, not up. But even it it were true that the rich were getting richer, is that really a bad thing? It's not like Monopoly--the rich getting richer doesn't mean that everybody else is getting poorer. It's not a zero-sum game. What do you suppose the rich do with their money? They want to earn more money, usually, which for almost all rich people means that they invest it in for-profit companies--companies that make things, companies that give people jobs, companies that will make more money for the rich people. When you take money away from rich people, you make it harder for them to invest and harder for them to give people jobs. That doesn't sound very compassionate to me, and I know you're a pretty nice person, so you wouldn't want to make it harder to make jobs, would you?"

Other Person: *sputters, probably goes negative/emotional on you* -or, if somewhat rational, comes back with- "Well, then, what do YOU think we should do?"

You: Well, it would be nice if we could start giving incentives to people to invest in companies, to go to work, to really improve themselves, rather than paying off political cronies and politically-correct companies, and bailing out failing companies--let them fail!--and start working on getting our government programs working on preparing people to find something they're good at and getting them doing that, earning their own way, being productive. There will always be those who we'll have to help, but we need to be realistic about it. People have to pull their own weight--rich people and everybody else."

(From here on out, you're on your own)
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So it's FRUCTOSE that's really evil . . .

So says UC San Francisco's Robert Lustig:

If you're fighting a weight problem, this would be an hour and a half very well spent, I think.

It's pretty much convinced me to avoid anything at all with high fructose corn syrup in it. Yuck. I already was convinced that sugar was evil. Now I know why.

Via Gary Taubes at the New York Times.
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Lindsay Graham is a Republican. And a jackass.

Via Pajamas Media comes this de-pantsing of Senator Lindsay Graham by American Citizen Ann Barnhardt, followed by yet another delightful Koran-burning session:

Oh, and all of the above does not mean that Pastor Terry Jones--or Ann Barnhardt, for that matter--is not also a jackass. Burning books pretty much automatically makes you a jackass. But again, that's pretty much the point of the First Amendment, isn't it? Even jackasses have freedom of speech--otherwise freedom of speech is a meaningless phrase.

So I guess I'm saying you have the freedom to say pretty much anything you want, except for saying that people can't say what they want.

(The use of bacon as a Koran bookmark is especially insulting, isn't it? Completely protected not only as free speech but freedom of religion. Sorry, Lindsay . . . )

(And note, I personally make no judgments one way or another about the Koran or Islam here. I don't have to. I'm an American. That's a big part of what being an American means. And that's why a lot of radical Muslims hate America, by the way. Personally, I wouldn't burn a Koran, as I have known many Muslims who have been and are worthy of my respect. But I've known Hindus and Buddhists, too. Doesn't mean I have to convert to their religions, either. Not in this country, anyway.)