Scammers Working The Elderly

I was phoned again by a known scam, and I failed to catch on for the first few minutes. Having heard of the scam on TV, It didn’t take long, but these scammers are good.

To be successful, they had to be good.

The call was from a young man of about my Grandsons age, emotional:

“Hi, Grandpa, this is your Grandson.”

Here, I made the mistake of asking if it was my grandson by name. Clue, don’t do that because then the scammer knows the name…

Anyway, my supposed Grandson told me this story of his friend who was visiting his family in Mexico, and the friend was killed by a drunk driver. The family had supposedly paid for my bogus Grandson to fly to Mexico and attend the funeral. By bogus grandson was to return this evening…

But, my bogus Grandson, says he was in a car the Mexican police pulled over and marijuana was found in the trunk…

At this point I was certain I was going to be hit for money…but my Granddaughter happened to be at the house, she sees my Grandson often, so I handed the phone to her with my hand over the phone, saying, “This is not (his actual name).”

It took my Granddaughter about a minute to say, in soto voce, “Not him.”

She then told the caller, “Well if you get in trouble, you are an adult and need to solve it yourself.”

The caller said a few profane words and hung Granddaughter called my Grandson — who was not in Mexico, had no friend named David, etc.

These guys are good. Had my Granddaughter not been there I would have dialed my Grandson on a separate phone, but I was pretty sure after the first two minutes — having heard this scam on TV.

Heads up. These guys are good. (Scammers are, or they would starve.)

Removing Religious Symbols

The fight continues regarding the Cross on Mount Soledad.

Off the top of my memory, which admittedly is not what it once was, there were two future presidents who attended the Constitutional Convention, however briefly: Washington, and Madison (Jefferson was a major contributor but did not attend, as I recall he was in Paris.)

Certainly they understood the US Constitution better than anyone alive today including the SCOTUS. None of them removed religious symbols, including Jefferson, who famously penned those famous words “separation of church and state.” (Those words are NOT in the Constitution, they are in a letter Jefferson wrote.)

Even Jefferson never removed religious symbols, and if he wouldn’t, neither should we.

Unwarranted Isolation

As I read the stories about the NSA and its various problems with both disclosures and lawsuits, then read the blogs of paranoid bloggers, who understand that governments are inherently evil but that the governments (and non-governments) that the NSA is targeting are magnitudes worse than ours.

Somehow, these people — have you noticed what happens when you see “man on the street ” interviews of most Americans — live in some bubble where they think OUR government is evil.

O.K. — all governments are inherently evil because they use force, but life is a bit more nuanced that that. Not all governments are created equal — it’s sort of like atomic weapons. The world is a dangerous place, made much more dangerous because North Korea has, and would be if Iran  got such a weapon, but would ANYONE get overly excited if Switzerland announced they had an atomic weapon?

Who would care?

I fear that, much like the 1930s  the nation will retreat to its roots. This nation has always been basically isolationist, a valid philosophy when we had a couple of enormous oceans and a powerful fleet — neither of which can have a salutary impact on a nuclear-tipped missile or even a cargo container with a nuclear weapon.

Secrecy is the coin of the realm of governments — “good” and bad governments alike. I spent a decade “spying” on other governments — what do you think Submarines do? (Many of the missions have NSA personnel aboard, and while they were almost uniformly horses-asses, they knew their job.)

I have read extensively — and written extensively — about spying, particularly in World War II. Make no mistake, the Allies could not have defeated the Axis without spies on our side, and defeating the Axis spy network.

Did the NSA exceed peacetime standards?

Probably — but ONLY if you believe we live in a peaceful world!