Friday, April 14, 2006

Carnival of the Curmudgeons - Perfect Harmony

Perfect harmony.

Yep, I feel perfectly in tune with the curmudgeon world. I got in some good pistol practice this week, and some coaching for an old, dear friend who was starting to lose her pistol skills (in her yute, she was a steely-eyed killa). Then I picked up my B.A.G. Day purchase, a North American Arms Guardian in the wildcat-pistol caliber .32NAA. Then all my new killa carry ammo arrived, and after cleaning said carry guns, I am now ready for mortal combat with the BEST in high-velocity pistol ammo, Cor-Bon JHPs in 4 different calibers.

There's nothing like being well-armed to give a curmudgeon the desire to tell EVERYONE to Piss Up a Rope.

So yesterday I open my mailbox, and there's an envelope in there that has the "smell" of a solicitation, but it is marked official government business. Doesn't add up, since it has a commercial postage frank on it:

So, before opening the letter, I scan both sides, then open it and scan the contents. It is a solicitation, obviously designed to make a dumber version of retired military personnel think that the Federal Government now has low-cost nursing-home insurance. The solicitation refers to "The Federal Insurance" several times.

Down at the bottom is the logo of the company that is really behind the solicitation, MetLife.

I have a curmudgeonly question here: how the hell does the Feddle Gummint think it can hold our respect if it allows some sleazy (yep, SLEAZY, even if they bought rights to the image of Snoopy) insurance scammers to impersonate the gummint? Does anyone in the government care that the entire operation has been sold to fraud artists and scammers?

I think I am going to call up the Attorney General for this Judicial District and see if she wants to prosecute Met Life. I'll promise to be a star witness, having lots of experience testifying in Federal Court, and all the time in the world to get on the train and go downtown each morning of the trial. I may also try to get one of the local TV stations involved. One of them, KATU-TV2, the local ABC affilliate, prides itself on having a scammer-killer reporter, Ed Teachout, who makes a very good living exposing scams to the viewers (just stopped blogging and sent him an email).

As we get into old age, we curmudgeons have a lot more on our plate. Some of us lose mobility due to various diseases (gout, arthritis). Some of us lose cognitive ability due to losing too many brain cells (to Scotch?). ALL OF US develop a healthy skepticism of the younger world around us, their fads and their wastes of their precious time, which we can all see is going to be a problem for them, but they can't see it.

Why do individuals and corporate scammers take us for fools? Most of us have been through at least one war, either in combat or waiting for someone near and dear who was. Most of us have had children, and the children have given us grandchildren. We've been there, done that, seen it all. Why do these scammers take us all for fools?

A.A.R.P. is really the worst offender. A corporation set up for the sole purpose to sell older folk insurance of dubious value, it had to adopt a "political wing" when it got a little too obvious that it really wasn't the "Grey Panther" it made itself out to be. Of course, it adopted a strong liberal slant in it's political machine, dispite the fact that most of it's members are conservative. That came to a head last Presidential election when AARP claimed to be able to deliver beaucoup votes for John Kerry, and certain conservative dissidents within the membership pointed out that Kerry was unlikely to get 40% of the AARP membership. The dissidents were correct, and the geezers voted for Bush by a large margin.

Then there are the phone solicitations, but I have a handle on them now with the "gizmo". The Federal (and State) "Do not Call" lists have proven to be a failure, as there is no penalty consistently applied for violations. My gizmo never fails, and I bet some boiler rooms have spent repair money on their phone equipment because of it. You see, I have programmed it to have the "unknown caller from unknown number" calls dropped. It just drops the calls. The phone doesn't even ring, and to the boiler-room scammer, it seems as if his phone has gone dead. Other scammers calling from identifiable numbers get dropped into my "dumpster" list, and when they call back, they get the same blanking treatment. Since only solicitors use outward-WATS, I have also programmed all incoming WATS (800 #s) calls into the dumpster. Best $100 I ever spent.

If only I could get the trash company to agree to pick up recycling from the community mail boxes across the street, I wouldn't even have to bring the junk mail in anymore. Why doesn't the Post Office have some sort of an "opt-out" of solicitation mail like you (supposedly) can get for phone solicitations? They could even charge for it. I would pay the Post Office a monthly fee to ditch all solicitation mail, in fact, all mail that is not sent first class. The USPS is working on computer sorting of mail, and when they get it up and running, it should be programmable to do this. I'll even let the USPS keep the bux for the recycled paper.

Old age and scam attempts. They go together. They wouldn't if we each picked out a scammer and made a project out of dogging his scumbag ass severely. Curmudgeon Power! Yeah!

On to the fine selection of curmudgeonly goodness this week.

Let's start with Grouchy Old Cripple in Atlanta, one of the "regulars" (actually, he's quite irregular, that Denny). Here's his take on Tax Time. Last couple of weeks, I pretty much beat the Immigration issue down, but Denny never took a break. Here's his take this week.

Then, the Acidman points out the folly of Democrats trying to upbraid the GOP for party corruption. Something about if you live in a glass house, you shouldn't throw stones. A-man also does a book report on State of Fear by Michael Crichton, a new book that bemoans the loss of scientific integrity to political expediency.

PawPaw had a look at a passle of reports on WMDs found in Iraq, and concludes that there is no basis for saying we haven't found any, since the reports all detail such weapons. PawPaw also has a delightful story of bamboozling a crook into ratting out a burglary ring.

Oops, I found another Immigration post I just HAVE to link, from none other than the Chief Curmudgeon of Plano, TX, Kim DuToit. Kim also senses the "great disturbance in the force" that conservative are expressing over this vital issue. Listen up, POTUS Bush: your Immigration stance is about to lose the next two elections for your party, and history WILL stick that LOSER label on you because of it. Be my guest, have a flip-flop, we'll forgive you, just as all those (D)onks forgave John Kerry all HIS flip-flops.

Mr. Completely knows that curmudgeonly trait of taking a saber to a hot-air balloon party. Here he tells of a fancy-schmancy IT "focus group" and how he participated in it.

For those who think I don't put enough in from curmudgeonettes, here's Hostagirl, with an intriguing story of "invasion" (has nothing to do with Immigration however).

Also on the distaff side, here's Mel, Anarchangel's better half with another of her takes on fashion faux-pas.

And fellow NorthWest grump Analog Kid, a curmudgeon in training, has a take on public reaction to the Immigration protests.

Last but not least, your grumpy Rivrdog has had a few rants this week. Here's a selection:
No joke this week. Nothing funny happened.

Enjoy your Easter weekend. Wait, one final rant: How about the nerve of the print media, newspaper division: for one week, prior to Easter, they give some ink to various things Christian. for 51 weeks, they indulge in the most anti-Christian tripe imaginable, but they trumpet Christianity for one week, so they want us to think they are Christian. What a hoot! for that, they are my Peeve Of The Week.

Grumble on!

Newspapers, here's a dead fish. You know what to do with it. Get busy.


Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Another great carnival, RD!

.....Mr. C.

(When you venturing up this way for some brass-emptying?)

Anonymous hostagirl said...

Thanks so much Riverdog, for mentioning my blog!...hostagirl

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the snail-mail spammers (mainly credit card companies) send me a postage-paid reply envelope, I use it. They get my name, address and a "Stop mailing me" message. It has really cut down on those solicitations.


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