Sunday, March 11, 2018

Beware of Phishing scams

In the last month I have been getting a large number of scam text messages telling me that there is a problem with my craigslist account, or my bank account, or that I have a text telling me that I have a message on Facebook, with a link that looks like Facebook, but isn't. The link looks like:

This scam is trying to get me me to give away my login name and password. The way you know it is a scam is to look at the domain name, which is the part before the ".com" or ".net" or ".info", which shows that the link is not from Facebook, or your bank, or whatever.

I can't think of a reason why anyone would need to click on a link in a text message. If your bank has a problem with your account, chances are they will send you an email. However, these kinds of phishing scams happen in emails too, and sometimes they are harder to spot in emails. What I do with an email is look at the who the sender is, which should be the same as the service, like "". Even with these you have to be careful that it doesn't say something like "".

I remember around 2004 I feel for a scam in an email, which was ransomware. I should have known better, but it is easy to slip up. It locked up my computer and then offered to sell me a "virus checker" to fix the problem. I took my computer to a repair shop instead.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

20% of people in federal prisons are illegal aliens

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has an operational process for maintaining data regarding foreign-born inmates in its custody. On a quarterly basis, BOP supplies this information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE, in turn, analyzes that information to determine the immigration status of each inmate and provides that information back to BOP.

Out of the 185,507 inmates in BOP custody, 39,455 (21 percent) were reported by BOP as foreign-born. Further details regarding these 39,455 foreign-born inmates are as follows:

20,240 (51 percent) were unauthorized aliens who are subject to a final order of removal;

14,979 (38 percent) remain under ICE investigation;

 2,374 (6 percent) were unlawfully present and now in removal proceedings;
1,852 (less than 5 percent) were lawfully present aliens

Monday, March 5, 2018

one-party autocracy

There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.

On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 2:00 PM, John Coffey wrote:
> I was trying to find a related article where Rush Limbaugh quoted the author as praising China for being a dictatorship. 


Trump Lies. China Thrives.

I was trying to find a related article where Rush Limbaugh quoted the author as praising China for being a dictatorship.  I couldn't find the article.

Youtube censorship

Re: Learned a new word


Seems to me that there is a continuum, from a very oppressive society that tries to regiment all behavior, to an anarchist or nihilistic one where people lack any sense of purpose.

In my view, society should regulate and encourage behavior that is respectful to the rights of others.   By this, I mean we should teach children about civil liberties and respecting freedom.

As a logical extension of this, I also believe in courtesy.  

Since we do not share the same religious beliefs, I assume that we would disagree on what is moral and what is not.  I draw the line at respecting the rights of others.

​One of the many reasons I do not believe in anarchy is that there has to be some standard way of defining, for example, what is property ownership and what rights are.​


On Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 9:36 AM, utahtrout  wrote:


From this article describing social anomie...

If Disney did the Prequels... [Star Wars]

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

​Dear Immigrant

This was just posted to Facebook by somebody who used to work with me on the same small team in Sandy Utah, who is obviously very liberal.  (Emphasis mine.)

Dear Immigrant, legal and illegal:

You are welcome in my country. You may use food stamps, welfare, and any other type of government entitlement to which I have personally contributed with my income and other types of taxes while you get to your proverbial feet. Feel free to bring your extended family with you. If you happen to be Muslim, I look forward to hearing about your religious views and learning about your native national and spiritual culture.

Thank you,

Mr. Older-white-male-middle-class-liberal-agnostic-scientifically-minded-white-collar-working-bass-playing-facebook-posting-college-educated-jeep-driving-beer-drinking-Trump-disapproving-somewhat-intelligent-though-not-good-looking-size-10-shoe-wearing-citizen-voter-in-every-election-in-order-to-make-known-my-political-views-because-I-was-naturally-born-by-luck-within-the-united-states-after-all-I-may-just-as-well-have-been-born-in-a-South-American-rain-forest-though-I-would-still-expect-dignity-as-a-human-being-from-every-other-human-being-on-this-planet-not-the-shit-my-political-leaders-and-their-dumb-racist-minions-are-trying-to-pass-off-to-you-as-not-a-natural-born-political-citizen-as-though-they-deserve-more-dignity-than-you-do-all-the-while-feigning-christianity-voting-voting-voting-citizen.

Ten Things Millennials Should Know About Socialism

Why NASA Won’t Send Humans to Mars

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Is Capitalism Voluntary?

In response to:  I wrote...
Interesting comments.  The problem I see with it is that nobody is born with the ability to provide for themselves.  People can only survive by getting the cooperation of others, which means that we have to prosper in the system that we are born in.  Free markets by far have been the best system for rising people out of poverty, and socialism has been a colossal failure.  And socialism by its nature is far more coercive than the supposedly coercive capitalism.

​Let's get some definitions clear:  Capitalism is a system where the means of production is privately owned.  It should be incredibly obvious that private ownership has done much better than state ownership of the means of production.  Taking away private ownership is taking away your freedom to start your own business.  Leaving capitalism is the same as leaving a free market.  In a free market all exchanges are voluntary.  If you want something I have, and I want the money you have, then the exchange benefits us both.  However, socialism does not benefit both parties because government uses coercion to accomplish its aims. Usually this means stealing from one person, which is involuntary, and giving to another.  However, it can also mean the government dictates every part of your life, which is what happens under socialism.  So "Thought Slime" complains that he is not "free" to leave a system of free voluntary exchanges, so as to move to a system where his life is much more coerced by the state.  

Even Milton Friedman admitted that the concentration of power in private hands can be a threat to freedom.   However, having the state control everything is the ultimate concentration of power, and always leads to a corrupt dictatorship.  

"Thought Slime" is complaining that he is forced to work under capitalism, but we start in this world with nothing and can only survive and achieve anything of value through barter with others who have the resources we need.  If you were the sole occupant of an island, you would still have to work to survive, and you would probably do less well and not live as long as you would in a capitalist society.  But people fair far worst in socialist countries, because if you are not allowed to own the means of production then you are slave to those who control the means of production.  It is almost unfathomable that anyone would think that state ownership of the means of production is a better system. ​

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Here’s What The Trumpists Don’t Understand About American Greatness

I agree with the first part, but not the second.  Trying to look at the 1800's as justification for excessive government today seems to me like a poor analogy.  I also think that this is a straw man argument, because there are many myths about the "robber barons."   The second half of the 19nth century saw the greatest period of economic growth in our history.