MONEY: When the politicians control the printing presses

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Politics versus gold
Thomas Sowell
Posted: September 28, 2010

*** begin quote ***

Inflation is a quiet but effective way for the government to transfer resources from the people to itself, without raising taxes. A hundred dollar bill would buy less in 1998 than a $20 bill would buy in the 1960s. This means that anyone who kept his money in a safe over those years would have lost 80 percent of its value, because no safe can keep your money safe from politicians who control the printing presses.

*** end quote ***

“We, The People”, aka the Sheeple, are SO dumb. It’s a miracle that the species survives. It’s the meme of Gooferment that kills more than any disease, impoverishes us, and sets brother against brother over trivialities.


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TECHNOLOGY: New form of spam begins. It looks like a standard LinkedIn invite.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New form of spam begins. It looks like a standard LinkedIn invite.


But the URLs point to strange sites. Don’t worry I’m an Open DNS User (free) and they don’t resolve.

“Default” Users, who don’t take any precautions, should NEVER click on any link in ANY email.

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LinkedIn Users Targeted with Fake “Contack Requests” to Spread Malwa
Posted by: “Joseph”
Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:38 am (PDT)

LinkedIn Users Targeted with Fake “Contact Requests” to Spread Malware
By Mike Lennon on Sep 27, 2010

On Monday morning, cybercriminals began sending massive volumes of spam email messages targeting LinkedIn users.

Starting at approximately 10am GMT, users of the popular business-focused social networking site began receiving emails with a fake contact request containing a malicious link.

According to Cisco Security Intelligence, these messages accounted for as much as 24% of all spam sent within a 15-minute interval today. If users click, they are taken to a web page that says “PLEASE WAITING…. 4 SECONDS..” and then redirects them to Google, appearing as if nothing has happened. During those four seconds, the victim’s PC was attempted to be infected with the ZeuS Malware via a “drive-by download” – something that requires little or no user interaction to infect a system.

When Zeus infects PCs, users rarely notice any harm, and those who click on a link will may even have a chance manually download the executable file, as the malware first runs a series of browser exploits. ZeuS, also known as Zbot, WSNPOEM, NTOS and PRG, is the most prevalent banking malware platform for online fraud, and has been licensed by numerous criminal organizations. The program then waits for the user to log onto a list of targeted banks and financial institutions, and then steals login credentials and other data which are immediately sent to a remote server hosted by cybercriminals. It can also modify, in a user’s browser, the genuine web pages from a bank’s web servers to ask for personal information such as payment card number and PIN, one time passwords, etc. A new variant recently emerged that targets mobile devices – ZeuS in the Mobile or “Ztimo”- used to overcome two-factor authentication.

“Criminals are misusing brands familiar to business users to trick them into becoming infected by data stealing malware,” said Cisco Security Researcher Henry Stern. “They want to infect those users with access to large-dollar online commercial bank accounts. This attack is most interesting because of its scale. While there have been many previous attacks that impersonate social media sites, the scale of this attack, tens of billions of messages, makes it notable. The criminals behind this attack are among those who stole over US$100m from commercial bank accounts in 2009,” Stern added.

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RANT: Tax the rich vs. “decent salaries and benefits” are you kidding me?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

>>Gov. Chris Christie now says he wants to cut income taxes for the rich.
>I want readers of this blog to think about what he’s proposing
>and ask yourselves why giving money back to the rich makes more
>sense than providing teachers — or ensuring that the people who
>do the work that we need done get decent salaries and benefits.

Yes, it makes more sense to me on a several levels: Morally, Strategically, and Tacically.

Morally, when someone — rich or poor — creates wealth — be it grows more tomatoes, makes more lumber, or enables the same by capital formation — the Gooferment has NO right to steal it. At least the Mafia was polite when it robbed you and left you enough to survive. The DofI states that all men are created equal. Except when it comes to taxes.

Strategically, in a capitalistic society, deferred consumption allows capital formation and risk taking. On Robinson Crusoe’s island, Robinson has to save some fish to sustain himself while he weaves a net that allows him to catch more fish in the future. And, there’s no guaranty that it will work. So too, today, we need “rich” people to forgo consuming, invest, and take risks. Who’s more likely to save, invest, and employ others? The rich or the poor? When the Gooferment taxes the rich at disproportionate rate, ti discourages investment and risk taking. Why take a risk when you can spend what would have been “capital”, enjoy life, and wait for better times? Tax rates that make the Gooferment your partner 50/50 is one thing. When the the split is 90/10 on profit and you take the loss, then you think real hard about it. (Similar to professionals like doctors who can “time” when they take income, rich people have options that the poor do not. Heck, LeBron went to Florida to save taxes.) High tax rates and “progressive” tax rates are counter-productive to society. But, not to the Gooferment, who’s desire for funds is insatiable. New Jersey was #4 on the list of “lost high earning” losers, I just saw.

Tactically, New Jersey’s tax rates are higher than the surrounding states. Why do politicians and bureaucrats think people are moving to Delaware and Pennsylvania? Retirees depart the state because they can’t afford to live here. Do you think that even poor people are stupid?

Now let’s look at cited case of teachers, politicians, and bureaucrats. Sorry but they do NOT engender sympathy. I’ve ranted before about Gooferment Skrules are themselves immoral, strategically wrong, and tactically stupid. I won’t repeat all those arguments but I’ll summarize in one sentence: “I didn’t have any part in the decision to have your children, don’t pay to feed them, and the Gooferment should NOT be propagandizing future voters.” The salary was supposedly lower than in the private marketplace, hence great pensions and benefits. Now, Gooferment workers make twice what the private industry. In private industry, there’s no pensions any more. There’s no job security. Heck, there’s not even salaries for jobs any more. The absolute piggishness of politicians and bureaucrats with their scams to pad salaries, pensions, and benefits is criminal.

And, please don’t say that allowing the “rich” to keep what they have earned so they can invest and take risks prevents the politicians and bureaucrats from earning “decent salaries and benefits”.

So let’s have some reforms:

(1) No politicians and bureaucrats can ever make more than the Governor.

(2) No pensions for anyone. Convert all to defined contribution plans.

(3) Everyone pays a percentage of their benefit costs. (Benefits are a Federal problem.)

(4) All income taxes — corporate and personal — are capped at 10%.

(5) Let’s have a 40 year plan to get the Gooferment out of education. 20 years to privatize it; 20 years to migrate it back to the parents.

(6) Let’s get serious about the definition of poverty. In comparison to the rest of the world, our “poor” are rich.

JFK said it best. “A rising tide raises all boats!”

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