Is the FBI in on the Nigerian Scam, now?

July 7, 2009

Oh, don’t you love it?

Now they’re getting the scams pre-cleared by the FBI!

I just love being referred to as “undisclosed recipient.”

I especially enjoyed the use of the FBI’s seal and Robert Mueller’s signature, as if the director of the FBI personally certifies lottery winners for private organizations, or any organization.  All spellings and punctuations just so:

Official FBI Information for You

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5:05 PM
From:
“Federal Bureu Of Investigation” <SamlottoFBI@fbi.gov>

To:
undisclosed-recipients
Anti-Terrorist and International Fraud Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
935 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20535
ATTN: BENEFICIARY

This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $800,000.00 USD. from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via a Certified Cashier’s Check.


Normally, it will take up to 10 business days for an International Check to be cashed by your local banks. We have successfully notified this company on your behalf that funds are to be drawn from a registered bank within the United States Of America so as to enable you cash the check instantly without any delay, henceforth the stated amount of $800,000.00 USD. has been deposited with Bank Of America.

We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to receive the winning prize as we have verified the entire transaction to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that the funds have been deposited at Bank Of America you will be required to settle the following bills directly to the Lottery Agent in-charge of this transaction whom is located in Lagos, Nigeria. According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the following -

(1) Deposit Fee’s ( Fee’s paid by the company for the deposit into an American Bank which is – Bank Of America )
(2) Cashier’s Check Conversion Fee ( Fee for converting the Wire Transfer payment into a Certified Cashier’s Check )

The total amount for everything is $200.00 (Two Hundred-US Dollars). We have tried our possible best to indicate that this $200.00 should be deducted from your winning prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited at Bank Of America and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you, the winner; therefore you will be required to pay the required fee’s to the Agent in-charge of this transaction via Western Union Money Transfer Or Money Gram.

In order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge ( SAMUEL OLIVER ) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate contact information:

CONTACT AGENT NAME: SAMUEL OLIVER
E-MAIL ADDRESS: sammufbilotto911@sify.com
You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:
FULL NAME:
ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP CODE:
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:

You will also be required to request Western Union details on how to send the required $200.00 in order to immediately ship your prize of $800,000.00 USD via Certified Cashier’s Check drawn from Bank Of America, also include the following transaction code in order for him to immediately identify this transaction : EA2948-910.

This letter will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau Of Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $200.00 ONLY to Mr. Samuel Oliver  via information in which he shall send to you, if you do not receive your winning prize of $800,000.00 we shall be held responsible for the loss and this shall invite a penalty of $3,000 which will be made PAYABLE ONLY to you (The Winner).

Please find below an authorized signature which has been signed by the FBI Director- Robert Mueller, also below is the FBI NSB (National Security

FBI Director
Robert Mueller
.

NSB Seal

Authorized Signature

NSB SEAL ABOVE
NOTE: In order to ensure your check gets delivered to you ASAP, you are advised to immediately contact Mr. Samuel Oliver via contact information provided above and make the required payment of $200.00 to information in which he shall provide to you.

Sam, I won’t be responding.  The FBI doesn’t offer the service of verifying lottery winners, especially for people who didn’t enter the lottery.

And of course, it’s already been done — this is the same scam I got last February, just presented with a couple of graphics to try to make it look more official.  At least they lost the name of their contact, “Peter Water.”

Sure, it’s wire fraud.  Is there any way to get any authority to prosecute?


Texas social studies curriculum panel reports: The Great Texas History Smackdown

July 7, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to take a serious summer vacation, finish the latest Doris Kearns Goodwin, and catch up on a couple of novels . . .

The sharks of education policy are back.

Or the long knives are about to come out (vicious historical reference, of course, but I’m wagering the anti-education folks didn’t catch it).  Pick your metaphor.

Our friend Steve Schafersman sent out an e-mail alert this morning:

The Expert Reviews of the proposed Texas Social Studies curriculum are now available at

http://ritter. tea.state. tx.us/teks/ social/experts. html

Social Studies Expert Reviewers

  • David Barton, President, WallBuilders
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS
  • Jesus Francisco de la Teja, Professor and Chair, Department of History, Texas State University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS
  • Daniel L. Dreisbach, Professor, American University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS
  • Lybeth Hodges, Professor, History, Texas Woman’s University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS
  • Jim Kracht, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS
  • Peter Marshall, President, Peter Marshall Ministries
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS

You can download their review as a pdf file.

Three of these reviewers are legitimate, knowledgeable, and respected academics who undoubtedly did a fair, competent, and professional job. The other three are anti-church- state separation, anti-secular public government, and pseudoscholars and pseudohistorians. I expect their contributions to be biased, unprofessional, and pseudoscholarly. Here are the bad ones:

Barton may be the worst of the three. He founded Wallbuilders to deliberately destroy C-S separation and promote Fundamentalist Christianity in US government. Just about everything he has written is unhistorical and inaccurate. For example, Barton has published numerous “quotes” about C-S separation made by the Founding Fathers that upon investigation turned out to be hoaxes. Here’s what Senator Arlen Specter had to say about Barton:

Probably the best refutation of Barton’s argument simply is to quote his own exegesis of the First Amendment: “Today,” Barton says, “we would best understand the actual context of the First Amendment by saying, ‘Congress shall make no law establishing one Christian denomination as the national denomination. ‘ ” In keeping with Barton’s restated First Amendment, Congress could presumably make a law establishing all Christian denominations as the national religion, and each state could pass a law establishing a particular Christian church as its official religion.

All of this pseudoscholarship would hardly be worth discussing, let alone disproving, were it not for the fact that it is taken so very seriously by so many people.

I am sure these six will participate in a Great Texas History Smackdown before our crazy SBOE. Perhaps this will finally sicken enough citizens that they will finally vote to get rid of the SBOE, either directly or indirectly. Be sure to listen to this hearing on the web audio. Even better, the web video might be working so you can watch the SBOE Carnival Sideshow.

Steven Schafersman, Ph.D.
President, Texas Citizens for Science

The non-expert experts were appointed by Don McLeroy before the Texas Senate refused to confirm his temporary chairmanship of the State Board of Education.  The good McLeroy may have done as chairman is interred with his dead chairmanship; the evil he did lives on.  (Under McLeroy and Barton’s reading of history and literature, most students won’t catch the reference for the previous sentence.)

Tony Whitson at Curricublog posted information you need to readTexas Freedom Network’s Insider has a first pass analysis of the crank experts’ analyses — they want to make Texas’s social studies curriculum more sexist, more racist, more anti-Semitic, more anti-working man, and closer to Sunday school pseudo-history.  While Dallas prepares to name a major street in honor of Cesar Chavez, Barton and Marshall say he’s too Mexican and too close to Jews, and so should be de-emphasized in history books (a small picture of Chavez appears on one of the main U.S. history texts now).

That’s the stuff that jumps out at first.  What else will we find when we dig?

More to come; watch those spaces, and this one, too.


Michigan flags at half-staff tomorrow

July 7, 2009

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm continues to notify people when to fly flags at half-staff in honor of Michigan’s fallen soldiers.  Tomorrow, for example, flags in Michigan fly half-staff in honor of Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David, of Gladwin, Michigan; he served in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

(Texas could fly flags at half-staff, too — where are you, Texas Gov. Rick Perry?)

What caught my eye was this:  It was Sgt. David’s sixth tour of duty in war, fourth in Iraq, with two in Afghanistan. This has been a very long period of war for the U.S.

Condolences to his family and friends.  You may fly your flag at half-staff whether you are in Michigan or not.

July 7, 2009

Flags to be Flown Half-Staff Wednesday for Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David of Gladwin

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today ordered United States flags throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters lowered for one day on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, in honor of Staff Sgt. Timothy A. David of Gladwin, who died June 28 in Sadr City, Iraq, while on active duty supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Flags should return to full-staff on Thursday, July 9.

Staff Sgt. David, age 28, died from injuries sustained earlier in Baghdad , when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas .

This was Staff Sgt. David’s 6th tour of duty, having previously served twice in Afghanistan and was completing his 4th tour of duty in Iraq .  Funeral services will be held at Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Michigan, on Wednesday with burial in St. Andrews Cemetery in Saginaw.  He was the son of Michael and Linda David of Beaverton.

Under Section 7 of Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code, 4 USC 7, Governor Granholm, in December 2003, issued a proclamation requiring United States flags lowered to half-staff throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters to honor Michigan servicemen and servicewomen killed in the line of duty.  Procedures for flag lowering were detailed by Governor Granholm in Executive Order 2006-10 and included in federal law under the Army Specialist Joseph P. Micks Federal Flag Code Amendment Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-41).

When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the United States flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position.  The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

When a member of the armed services from Michigan is killed in action, the governor will issue a press release with information about the individual(s) and the day that has been designated for flags to be lowered in his or her honor.  The information will also be posted on Governor Granholm’s Website at www.michigan.gov/gov in the section titled “Spotlight.”

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