Wednesday, May 30, 2007

following up on Mexican hospitality

I see Mexico is displaying their usual neighborly attitueds.

Miss USA gives Mexicans lesson in graciousness
(and just in case that article goes away)

Guess we could have seen that coming after they
displayed their sense of balance in politics.

Border important to Mexico?

Let's get that fence built
border fence know thy enemies


Monday, May 28, 2007

military related EoM roundup

My End of Month roundup this month is mostly related to military personnel matters.

I got interested in MyPay again recently. I have stayed away from it in the past for several reasons, most important of which is their own statement on their front page that Effective July 1, 2005 - if you use MyPay, you must use them for virtually everything. This is, however, contradicted by their FAQ, and if I had read deeper into the site, I would have found that it merely meant that the default was no paper products, and it is still my choice.

My interest was rekindled when I saw this article:
"Hackers Gain Access to MyPay Accounts"
military dotcom report hackers and mypay accounts

The attack is done thru spyware on the user's computer, and is not the fault of security at mypay. This does however underline why I don't want (in the foreseeable future) mypay to ever become mandatory.

More on financial systems security is a banking security "feature" developed in the 60's or 70's is now a glaring security hole in the 21st century. That is, the routing and account numbers at the bottom of our checks. The fact that an airman was a victim is incidental. This is aimed at bank accounts in general, and you need to seriously review your statements each month to look for this happening to you. If you find it, I believe banks are liable under current laws - and at any rate, most all of them will take the hit instead of you (but you must file a claim).
military dotcom report one-cent-deposit scam

I am fond of saying "War is an expensive hobby"
This is short for "War is hell, and if you go at it like a hobby, it can get REAL Expensive"
Some unexpected expenses.
military dotcom report air-force might cut pay
military dotcom report interruptions in pay possibility

There has always been some friction between headquarters, and those in the trenches. This news should make it worse.

military dotcom report new regulations worrying bloggers
It is important to note that the vagueness of the new requirements is the main source of friction. Most military personnel still don't understand what exactly is changing.

military dotcom report fidelity fined for misleading troops
Here it is noteworthy that many scams such as this, some even getting on base (on post for army) facilities to make their pitches, are sponsored by retired Generals and retired Sargent Majors or Chief Master Sargent's. I don't know if these high level personnel are being duped, or if they have been playing politics so long they have lost their moral compass (and mind you, it is a small fraction of the retired honchos that are at fault). The moral of the story is, don't buy a product just because some honcho endorses it. Do the math yourself.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wolves in Sheeps Clothing

Just some Wolves in Sheeps Clothing that
I have noticed in the past few weeks.

I was astonished at the number of scam web sites attempting to capitolize on the Virginia Tech shooting. First rule of charitable giving is know who you are giving money to. If you don't know them don't give to them. I suppose the second rule could be to let your pastor do the research for the members of your Church.

Found through Clark Howard:
Student loan scandal at 300 schools.
This should be viewed as a conspirosy to swindle students
out of some of their education funds.

The FBI and TSA are still screwing over honest citizens
Shouldn't the law enforcement devision of the
US government be working to help its citizens?

Some good news from Clark Howard is about working at home.
Same link as the FBI above. Now we have a mediator in our favor.

Other miscelaneous Wolves in Sheeps Clothing
. . promotes internet gambling - not education
. . crisis pregnancy centers - some have been hijacked by rightwing extremists
. . and Experian - these are not free, will cost over $100
I will be glad to expound on any of the above - just leave a comment.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

gas prices

I heard on the news this morning that gas prices are at an all time high. $3.30 nationwide average. I still don't think they will make it to my earlier prediction of $3.60. And I predicted that for Texas, which is still just under $3 a gallon.

They also said it was aggravated by a high number of refineries out of service for spring maintenance, and quoted Shell as saying they had had "a couple" fires at refineries. Must have been small ones. I only heard about one, and I think it was BP.

I hear today is a "gas out," when we are supposed to abstain from buying gas for a day. That won't hurt them. Buy a 4 cylinder. If everybody did that, the oil companies would feel it.

In other humorous news, I heard a Citgo advertisement saying they:
"fuel our way of life"
I wonder how many people realize, they also fund the enemy.


UPDATE: the $3.30 above should have been $3.10
The market peaked early last year, but later this year, demonstrating a self correcting feature inherant in markets. I suspect strongly the (average national) price will remain above $3 a gallon for several more weeks. It will go down this fall, as it always does in the fall (sometimes late fall).