Archive for Wastes of Oxygen

It’s scam-tastic!

There are times when I think the criminally sneaky aren’t even trying anymore, and this is one of them:

When Robert Kleven switched on the news for his drive to work two weeks ago, he had no idea he was about to sink a high-profile lawsuit against General Motors Co. and embarrass one of the best-known plaintiffs’ lawyers in the U.S.

The news anchor described a long-awaited trial starting in federal court in Manhattan that day, the first over a deadly defect in millions of GM ignition switches. The plaintiff was a 49-year-old postman named Robert Scheuer. Kleven, a real estate agent in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knew that name. Two years earlier, he said in an interview, Scheuer had pulled a fast one on him.

Scheuer had altered a government check stub to make it look like he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, Kleven said. On the strength of that stub, Kleven had let Scheuer and his wife, Lisa, move in to a new house in suburban Tulsa before they had paid for it.

Said Kleven: “I didn’t want them getting away with another scam.” Let’s look at that check stub:

Check stub allegedy faked up by Robert Scheuer

Of those six digits before the decimal place, only the last three were legit. You’d think this would have been obvious after a cursory inspection.

Scheuer’s attorney, Robert Hilliard, was apparently readying a strategy to portray Scheuer and his wife as the All-American Family whose lives had been ruined when their Saturn Ion went berserk and crashed into a tree. Unanswered: the question of why someone with 400k to toss around would be driving a Saturn Ion, fercrissake.

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Careful with that revisionism, Eugene

This is one of the reasons why contemporary satirists simply can’t keep up anymore:

Student leaders at the University of Oregon debated removing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. from its student center, arguing that the quote was not inclusive enough for modern understandings of diversity.

Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union, which is currently under renovation, had the following famous King quote on the wall: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”

But as renovation continues, the Oregon Student Union seriously considered replacing that quote. “The quote is not going to change,” reports student paper Oregon Daily Emerald, “but that decision was not made without some hard thought by the Student Union Board.”

It may have been hard, but it sure as hell wasn’t thought.

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Beyond “birthers”

Now here’s a losing loser who loses:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How can I change my birth certificate so that no one finds out I was born in a city with a Spanish, not Anglo-sounding name?

The justification offered for this is totally absurd:

I’m sorry, but this is a problem some of us face. I know a lot of fine people who have to cover up the fact that we were born in cities in the USA with Spanish names like San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz, etc.

It is not refined. Places like Newport, New Haven, Manhattan, etc. are refined. I don’t want to be associated with a place that has a name derived from people who are Romanist in religion and whose colonies are not of the right social standing.

Update: Yes, but a birth certificate can be forged. Sorry, but I will not go through life with a birthplace associated with Roman Catholicism, spicy food, and antagonism towards the British Crown.

Shorter version: “My parents weren’t WASPs, therefore my life is ruined.”

Troll possibility: Rather high. Then again, someone who would go to this much trouble to come up with an incredibly stupid tale of woe doesn’t have much of a life anyway, by definition. Once I get the time machine working, I’m sending this doofus back to 1884.

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The feeling is almost certainly mutual

We’ve all seen better trolls than this, though:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is their an interplanetary dating site for those like me not interested in humans?

I was going to suggest to him “You might try looking up Uranus,” but I might need that line for something worthwhile some day.

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Citation unneeded

There’s a practical limit to how much you can squeeze into 140 characters, and by now you’d think that everyone would know that. Apparently not:

I sometimes wonder how narcissists manage to get by in the world unless they’re wealthy or politically influential enough to attract a flock of sycophants eager to tell them that their egocentric Weltanschauung is correct. It must be crushing for them to be reminded on a daily basis that the universe absolutely does not give a shit about them, and that most of their fellow humans care hardly a particle more than that. Of course, I’m assuming that they aren’t completely delusional; perhaps they go about distorting everything they hear and experience until it supports their own grotesquely-inflated sense of self-importance. I can’t imagine any other way that some random tweeter with a couple of dozen followers could actually expect a positive response to his demands that I produce citations and links for statements made in 140-character tweets. Yet I encountered not one but several of these last week; these champions of Not Getting It apparently failed to grasp the difference between a tweet and an academic paper until I none-too-gently reminded them that a tweet looks like this and an academic paper like this.

I have seen activists tweet back at people to the effect of “Shouldn’t you be getting your own information?” At first this seemed a bit high-handed; but it eventually occurred to me that finding my own links to stuff would stick better than just having them give me a bunch of links to stuff, and besides, there’s a better chance I’d hear more than a single side to the story while doing my own searching. So no, I don’t consider anyone responsible for my continuing education, except for myself.

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Beat on the bot

How many of you would be delighted to see someone like this suspended?

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How to auto tweet without getting your account suspended?

A bit of self-justification here:

My twitter got suspended though they were not specific why. They just said multiple violations to the twitter policies. Yeah really big help. I assumed it was because I was auto tweeting from google alerts. How am I suppose to tweet a lot of news from google when I don’t want to sit here all day doing so? How do some people get their accounts suspended for auto tweeting and some don’t? I have a life and don’t want to sit here all day long tweeting news from google alerts manually. Do they automatically tweet stuff just once in a while, one a day, once a week or what?

Darlin’, if you’re tweeting nothing but news from Google, by definition you have no life. And the likelihood that you’d get any followers is pretty close to zip.

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Worth less than nothing

Some people may sympathize with these folks, but I don’t:

I read that banks collected $30 billion in overdraft fees last year. That’s like $100 from every person in the country. I can imagine that there are a few flakes who have so much money they can be careless with it, and if they run up a thousand dollars in overdraft fees a month it’s no big deal. But there aren’t very many of those folks. I’ve had a couple or three overdraft charges in my life, and I life to think that I am not out of the ordinary. To make up for all the people who keep track of their money and for all the ones who don’t even have a bank account, there must be a bunch of people incurring $1000 worth of charges a year, like one person out of ten. I just don’t get it. Doesn’t $1,000 mean anything anymore?

It’s worse than you might think. With the general decline in check usage and a concomitant increase in payment-card usage — at 42nd and Treadmill, our business is now about 70 percent plastic — about the only people actually paying these fees are the few remaining check writers with no money and the people who get charged for using their overdraft protection. Deadbeats without overdraft protection have their debit cards declined, and we see about fifty of them a week. For one of the nichiest of niche markets, that’s a hell of a lot of people who are, to borrow a Briticism, totally skint. This wouldn’t bother me so much if they’d take that first decline as a warning, but they don’t: I’ve seen people present the same bad card — or worse, a whole portfolio of bad cards — week after week. Once is a mistake, maybe; twice is stupidity; three times is fraud.

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Not the right pitch

In fact, I’d say that this was downright tone-deaf. From 2013:

A New York attorney told a judge that a 25-year sentence was too long for a man convicted of murdering a transgender women because her life was not as valuable as someone “in the higher end of the community.”

“A sentence of 25 years to life is an incredibly long period of time, judge,” said attorney John Scarpa, when asking the judge for leniency on Rasheen Everett, who was convicted for the 2010 murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar.

“Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?” he asked.

Real subtle there, John.

Gonzalez-Andujar had been a sex worker; Everett, it seems, considered himself a victim of a bait-and-switch scheme. The judge, however, was not having any of Scarpa’s dick move:

Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter scolded Scarpa as he sentenced Everett… “This court believes every human life is sacred,” he said.

Thank you, sir.

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Service less selective

I could have understood this, maybe, had it been asked 45 years ago:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: If you masturbate before the MEPS military pee test, is it true you'll fail because high protein shows up which makes it look like kidney?

Apparently he’s serious:

Problems? Anyone who’s been to the military entrance processing station and knows FOR SURE, will you fail?

Clearly this lad is not keen on joining our All-Volunteer Armed Forces, so I have to assume someone’s twisting his arm. And apparently he’s not in contact with anyone else his age, since pretty much all of them are choking the chicken on a regular basis yet no one is ever sent back home.

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Sheer balls

Everything you’ve ever heard about “jailhouse lawyers” was leading up to this:

An inmate who escaped from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago has an unusual theory on who’s to blame: He says the government was negligent in enabling the breakout, so he sued for $10 million for damages.

The 7th U.S. Court of Appeals said in a Friday ruling that Jose Banks “gets credit for chutzpah.” But a three-judge panel at the Chicago-based court tossed his 2014 lawsuit.

“No one has a personal right to be better guarded or more securely restrained, so as to be unable to commit a crime,” the ruling said.

I think it’s probably reasonable to assume that Mr Banks was under a lot of stress during his escape:

In a 2012 jailbreak, Banks and a cellmate rappelled 17 stories down on a rope fashioned from bed sheets and dental floss, then hailed a cab. Banks, now 40, was caught within days and his cellmate within weeks.

Banks’ suit says the damages he suffered from the escape included the trauma of dangling on the makeshift rope in fear of his life.

On the upside, the jail now has an explanation for that sudden upsurge in dental floss consumption.

(Via Fark.)

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She doesn’t have to shoot you now

National Lampoon Death IssuePerhaps the most famous National Lampoon cover of them all was January 1973, the Death Issue, in which the threat was made: “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog.” Of course, nobody in those halcyon days of 1973 would ever consider actually shooting a dog.

But that was then in New York City, and this is 2015 in Troupe, Texas:

The ad began, “I need someone to come shoot my dog.” It went on to lament, “no one here has the heart to do it.”

The owner finished off by offering to help, adding, “we will provide the gun.”

So generous, this owner. Who, mercifully, is no longer the owner:

Three-year-old Cinnamon isn’t dead, but she does have a new place to stay.

Animal control officers alerted to the message quickly picked up the Saint Bernard/English bulldog mix. KHOU reports the animal’s owner told them the large dog had become too much to care for and wouldn’t stay out of the trash.

No charges will be filed, since no shooting was actually performed. And frankly, a Saint Bernard/anything mix is likely to be a bit, um, unsmallish.

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Beyond any possible quantity of Kool-Aid

Whatever this nimrod has been drinking, it’s done hellacious damage:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Reasons why the rich and famous won't leave earth due to a supposed asteroid. Also reasons why the world WON'T end in Sept 2015 please read

If you insist on reading:

So many celebrities are my role models like Patricia Hodge and Ashleigh Ball (‘Littlest Pet Shop’), and you have no idea how hurtful it is that they use all their hard work to keep a secret with the government and leave earth. I feel betrayed! I hope to heaven it’s not true! Also, I need scientific reasons why the world won’t end this month. Scientific and mature reasons for why the world isn’t going to end. Thank you for your time adressing this.

Were there true balance in the universe, this kid would be stumbling in front of a speeding bus on the first of October.

And even the Sweet Meteor O’Death isn’t due until after the first of the year.

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Dumping foreseen

You know how they’re always saying “Don’t be that guy”? This is a guy you don’t want to be:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: I need some pics of girls to prove to my girlfriend that I'm experienced with getting nudes of girls. She wont send em without proof. Help!?

I’m guessing she’s already figured out that this guy contains a significant percentage of weasel DNA.

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All right, out of the gene pool

As asshats go, this guy qualifies at least as Sombrero of the Sphincter:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How to make other drivers mad on the road?

Further evidence of dementia:

I need some ideas on how to make some drivers angry on the road tomorrow. I will be driving through county roads, one-lane. I love it when they flip me off, tailgate me and do those crazy hand gestures (trucks too).

I want to see how much he loves it when one of them points a shotgun at him.

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A thefty problem

Karma, you may be certain, operates on its own schedule, and sometimes it’s inconvenient in exactly the right way:

According to Michael Scott, deputy chief of Round Lake Beach [Illinois] police, officers responded at about 3 pm Tuesday to a report of a retail theft at the Wal-Mart store located at 2680 N. Route 83.

Upon arrival, Scott said, officers were informed that a man was observed loading electronics into a shopping basket and leaving the store. After employees confronted the suspect, he dropped the items and fled on foot, police said.

Hearn was later located walking by the side of the road, according to police. When asked why he was walking, he responded that his car had been repossessed while he was at the Wal-Mart, police said.

Investigators determined that the repossession company had followed Hearn to Wal-Mart, police said. The car was towed away when he entered the store, giving Hearn the only option of fleeing the scene on foot, police said.

Additional punchline: Hearn’s first name is Che, anent which Peter Green comments:

Given his namesake, I’d have expected him to use better tactics … but the archetypical Che ultimately came up short in that department in Bolivia, so I suppose it’s not surprising that his latter-day namesake did likewise in Chicago.

Not in the least.

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This is their jam

Who will rid us of these bothersome spammers? Lynn proposes a technological solution:

Someone once said that spammers should be crucified alongside the Interstates. Honestly, I don’t want to live in a society that crucifies people but a little part of me thinks that this would not be too harsh a punishment for spammers. And you can put trolls right there with them. Anyone whose behavior makes it necessary to restrict free and open communication. You know what we really need is some kind of device that these people could be sentenced to wear — like a type of ankle bracelet — that would automatically shut down any electronic device when they came within, say, three feet of it. If this sounds like too humane a punishment just imagine for a minute never being able to use a computer or smartphone again. Hey, all of you clever inventor folk, get on that will you?

“Someone,” in case you’d forgotten, was Eric Scheie of Classical Values, circa 2003.

And I hate like hell to say so, but there are nimrods out there who would willingly saw off a limb or two in order to perpetuate their perversity.

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Noise disabatement

This nimrod showed up yesterday exhibiting both a lack of taste and a lack of patience:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: five variations on I have a Dodge Ram 1500 2wd regular cab. What can I do to it to make it sound good and loud

If he comes back next week asking for stereo advice, well, God help him. Because I won’t.

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Considerable many frills

You think Tom Sawyer put him up to this?

A Coolidge Street man was arrested Wednesday for alleged sexual assault.

Huckleberry Finn, 36, of Coolidge Street, was arrested Wednesday after police spotted him on Main Street. A woman reported that on Saturday she was sexually assaulted in her home by a man she didn’t know.

All right, then, he’ll go to hell. (And since the subject has come up: what direction is hell from Keene, N’Hampsha?)

(Via Fark.)

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Bush league at best

When the Knights who say “Ni!” gave out with “We want … a shrubbery!” I’m pretty sure this is not what they wanted it for:

An 81-year-old Connecticut man has been accused of performing a sex act with some shrubbery, according to reports.

Police told the Connecticut Post they arrested the Stratford man Monday after a neighbor showed them a video he took of the naked man in the bushes outside his home.

Perhaps he was tipped off by a bustle in his hedgerow.

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Must have a death wish

Certainly for his site, and possibly for himself:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is there an HTML/CSS code that prevents a user from navigating away from a web page until after 1 minute?

“Preferably no alerts,” he says.

On the upside, all his visitors will be unique and new: he’s never going to get a repeat visitor. (Well, okay, he might, in the specific context of “Hey, look what this asshole did!”)

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For you, a ray of sunshine

For the disciples of Al Gore, it’s Gloomy Sunday indeed:

Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger. Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a practicing psychiatrist and graduate of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth slide-show training, calls this “pretraumatic” stress. “So many of us are exhibiting all the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic disorder — the anger, the panic, the obsessive intrusive thoughts.”

How much sympathy have I for these mountebanks? Somewhere below the Maunder Minimum.

(Via Steven Hayward at Power Line.)

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Too lazy to cut and paste

Even the plagiarists are becoming indolent:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is there a website online that will summarize text for free and make it like its in my own words?

Not only must it do the rewrite job for him, but it must do it for free. A three-toed sloth is Usain Bolt next to this clod.

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Roll them all over

Few shout “We are a legitimate business!” louder than your friendly neighborhood payday-loan joint. Maybe it is. I haven’t been there. But certainly this particular operation threw away its bid for legitimacy:

The operators of a payday lending scheme that allegedly bilked millions of dollars from consumers by trapping them into loans they never authorized will be banned from the consumer lending business under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.

The settlements stem from charges the FTC filed last year alleging that Timothy A. Coppinger, Frampton T. Rowland III, and their companies targeted online payday loan applicants and, using information from lead generators and data brokers, deposited money into those applicants’ bank accounts without their permission. The defendants then withdrew reoccurring “finance” charges without any of the payments going to pay down the principal owed. The court subsequently halted the operation and froze the defendants’ assets pending litigation.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants told consumers they had agreed to, and were obligated to pay for, the unauthorized “loans.” To support their claims, the defendants provided consumers with fake loan applications or other loan documents purportedly showing that consumers had authorized the loans. If consumers closed their bank accounts to stop the unauthorized debits, the defendants often sold the “loans” to debt buyers who then harassed consumers for payment.

So weasels and jackals can crossbreed. Who knew?

(Thanks to Roger Green.)

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The more things change

Why there will always be a market for the fake ID:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is it possile to automatically run through date of birth questions?

Explanation? Of course:

I’ve been locked out of my playstation account because I forgot what I put in for my date of birth. Is it possible to create something to automatically put in every date until it finds the correct one?

The only way this could be more delicious would be if Sony demanded a copy of the pertinent birth certificate before allowing reentry.

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Didn’t help his alibi

We will apparently never, ever run out of Really Stupid Criminals:

Yuba City police responded to Umpqua Bank on Colusa Highway just after 9 a.m. Monday when they received notification a robbery had just occurred.

Bank employees said the robber handed the teller a note which read, in part, “Give me $10,000 dollars or I will kill you”. The note was signed John Chapman.

The man then fled the area, and employees were able to positively identify the suspect as John Chapman.

The only way this could be worse would be if Chapman had posted some reference to the robbery on his Facebook page.

(Via Nothing To Do With Arbroath.)

Addendum: None of the eight John Chapmans I checked on Facebook matched up to this guy.

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One very small step forward

What hurts, I think, is that it was a 3-2 vote:

You hate getting robocalls. The FCC knows you hate getting robocalls. And so [Thursday] the Commission voted to move forward with a proposal that would allow consumers to block all those annoying calls and texts.

The commissioners were agreed on one major theme: seriously, everyone hates getting calls from “Rachel at card services” during their family dinner hour. Outside of that, reactions were less universal, and individual commissioners each presented a mixed bag of affirmations and dissents.

FCC chair Tom Wheeler says that part of the problem is the Commission’s own rulemaking:

“Technology has made it cheaper, and as a result there’s been an explosion in the number of calls — an explosion which has been aided by exploiting the wording of our rules to claim a loophole. Clever lawyers have [spurred] the explosion in robocalls by claiming if the company substitutes software for hardware to drive the calls and/or does not call from a list, they are exempt from our rules.”

While I am moderately hopeful, I am fairly sure the FCC will not authorize the ritual disembowelment of offenders, as recommended by, um, me.

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Scam via scum

Remember this number: 917-675-3332. Two calls from them today in relatively rapid succession. The people behind it need to die a horrible death, live on YouTube.

Apparently they’ve been active for only a couple of days, but already they’ve justified their termination with extreme prejudice. Says Ragator, who heard from them Monday:

Received a partial voice mail about calling in reference to a lawsuit and provided a phone number of 917 675-3332. I called the number and reached a gentleman stating to be “David Frost”. When I asked what company he was with he stated the IRS. I challenged him several times and he continued to claim he is with the IRS and contacting me in reference to a lawsuit. After I continued to challenge his affiliation with the IRS and I vehemently declared that I did not believe he was an employee Internal Revenue Service and pushed him even harder to reveal the company he actually works for he said he can not say and hung up.

The lawsuit claim is, of course, horseshit of the highest (or lowest) order. “Mr. Frost” is obviously a scamster out to make a fast buck off fearful people. Whoever is behind him needs to be named, exposed, and then culled from the species. It doesn’t even have to be in that order.

Remember that number: 917-675-3332.

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Common jerks

In the standard version of the Tragedy of the Commons, there are more takers than givers, and eventually the system breaks down. If this sounds like a bunch of jerks to you, the Z Man can show you more of them:

Blogs and news stories invite comments. Jerks come along and fill the comments with work at home scams and penis pill ads. That means we have to have spam filters and police the comments sections. A good chunk of the code in a WordPress site is to fend off jerks trying to mess up a blog for no other reason than they are an asshole.

Anyway, the jerks are ruining the interwebs in a different way and that’s with ads. There are some sites I don’t bother to visit because they are so bogged down with popups, scripts and the worst thing of all, auto-playing videos. The guy who came up with that idea should be burned at the stake. There’s nothing worse than having some nonsense come blaring through your PC speakers as you feverishly look for the source.

Hence: ad blockers and such. (I’ve recently had to dispose of a script I had found useful for many years because it had mutated into a tool of the jerks.)

I don’t block every ad, of course. For example: I block nothing on Equestria Daily, since (1) I really, really need the content and (2) Sethisto has gone after rogue advertisers with jerk in their genome. But there are plenty of sites pushing on my last nerve.

I don’t solicit Breitbart because it is infested with ads created by the nation’s dickhead community. Loads of viruses are spread through embedded ads as well. If a site has no choice but to go the jerk route with their ads, then they should go out of business. The world has plenty of jerks. We’re full.

Between that and clickbait — well, I’ve been to a Turkish bazaar, and it’s run with a hell of a lot more respect for its customers.

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The destructive power of kale

Look what it’s done to this poor imbecile:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Vegans, what do i do about my neighbor?

my neighbor cooks meat outside often, im a vegan and offended by the smell of cooking meat. i went over there to tell him to stop, he said ‘go f*ck yourself, this is my grill, my food, my property. go home, or i will have you arrested for trespassing. dont like it? then you can close your windows or leave the town.’ can you imagine the audacity of a person like this? im thinking of holding a peta protest outside his house. is there anything i can do? should i call the cops on him?

Whichever of these is more pertinent:

  • Quit trolling, ya knucklehead;
  • Kindly point to the section of the Constitution that gives you the right not to be offended.

Otherwise, I’d say “die in a fire,” and if it comes to that, I’ll happily contribute some kindling.

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Just a hint of mockery

Meet Brandy Bean:

Mug shot of Brandy Bean

As you can see, she’s already met with the police department of Bellevue, Ohio:

Brandy Bean was taken into custody earlier this afternoon 5/26/2015, after a short foot pursuit in the area of CVS and Circle K. She was arrested on several Felony warrants including Burglary, Forgery and Theft. The Burglary charges were the result of the investigation into a female knocking on doors and asking to use the telephone, and the restroom and wanting a drink of water. While the resident was out of the room, the female would steal items from within the house. Forgery charges were from separate previous case(s).

And either she’s taunting the photographer, or she’s a little over halfway through a Ball Park Frank.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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