December 4, 2010

No Room for Evolutionary Doubters

Buon giorno. I thought I would share an article that I came across that supports my claim that there is no room for doubt when it comes to the religion of evolutionism. I was chasing leads (or "rabbit holes"): An update to a link led me to this article, where a scientist was fired because he did not believe in Papa Darwin's alleged theory. What happened to "follow where the evidence leads", as well as scientists being honest and objective? Ain't got no. Not when it threatens established orthodox evolutionism

After all, evolution is the cornerstone of the atheist religion, and it cannot be questioned. Well, I have to amend that. It's all right to debate or question how it happened, but to have doubts that it happened in the first place. Ha! Pack your bags, Buford.

December 2, 2010

Double Sneakiness

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.
— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Buon giorno. No, my title is not talking about sneaky Basement Cat. Instead, I'm talking about a telephone call I received from an almost-victim. Fortunately, she made the right choices and did not get burned. She related her story to me so that I can sound yet another scam warning.

And you know that I like exposing the scammers.

This one reminds me of the XP Antivirus (and similar names) scams. That one gives you a fake pop-up, telling you that you have many viruses while it is scanning your computer. (The last time I saw this, they were using animated gif files to simulate scanning.) Often, the victim downloads the malware because they were tricked into it.

In this case, the target receives a telephone call from someone claiming to represent Microsoft. The scammer (often reported to have an Indian accent) says that Microsoft has detected that the target's computer has many viruses. In this case, she was told to go to the Start button, click on "Run", and type "INF", which accesses the "INF" file. She was then told that all of those files were infected. Sneaky, huh? Nice way to display a number of files, but those belong there. In one of own secure computers, that process shows over 1,500 files. (If I had that many infected files, I would be fortunate to have my computer working at all!) In addition, she was told that their technician was looking at her files while they talked, even though access was not granted. That last trick exploits (but probably inadvertently, I don't want to give the scammers too much credit) the fear of Microsoft and it's amazing power.

From there, she was directed to a couple of sites, one was Log Me In Rescue as well as "Dot Com Slash US?" Now, I have no idea if the actual companies are into doing dishonest sales efforts, but invoking the mighty name of Microsoft would give you a red flag, because rich and powerful MS would not be using an outside site and solicitation. In fact, MS has their own denial of this trick. Here is another discussion on the scam. 

Apparently, they want to gain access to your computer. Then you know what comes next, right, class? Say it all together:

"Personal information!"

Great! Right the first time! My regular readers know that I keep on preaching about almost never giving personal information to strangers, especially when they call you unexpectedly. In this case, the double-whammy is that they called and said there are viruses (reminding me of the "XP Antivirus" trick online), and then have you "see for yourself" that you have said viruses.

It's worth repeating: Do not give out information (or access to your computer). If the call comes from your credit card company, for instance, you call them back and ask if there is a problem; do not give your credit card number to a cold caller, even if it's to a supposed charity like the Secret Policeman's Ball. Capice?

Yes, I do like writing these kinds of articles. Because they get many hits, I'm pretty certain that I'm doing some good.

Here is something ironic: I still sing the praises of the free product, Microsoft Security Essentials. Very highly rated anti-virus and spyware tool. Funny that the scammers were pretending to be from Microsoft, who gives away an excellent product that does what they were selling.

So, class, stay safe and don't be bullied. Stay out of shadows.

December 1, 2010

Picking on the Cat

OK, so the last one is a little off-color. Big deal, it's a cat. A cat that is on my bed! (Ironically, the book you can see at the top right of the picture is by Ray Comfort.) Basement Cat (also called "Pay Pay", but that is not my idea) likes to lay on her back, and is showing off after getting a haircut. Someone told me that laying on the back is a sign of trust, or contentment. I have lived with cats off and on for most of my life and never seen that behavior before this one came along.

So many of my articles come from springboards in my daily experience. Several times, I have marveled at the responsibility that pet owners are accepting. This is a living thing, and it's life is in your hands. (If you drop a domesticated creature off in the wild, so help me...) I had some rats for a while. Their lives were literally in my hands, and they were trusting me not to squeeze too hard or do some other unthinkable thing. "Gentleness" has been defined as "strength under control".

Kids do not know that having a pet is both responsibility and work; Mom and Dad should not be doing the chores that Johnny or Suzie promised to attend. Instead, the kids should be strongly encouraged to learn this responsibility and live up to their promises to "take care of it".

Wow, I went away for a while, huh?

Aside from being struck by their dependence and the responsibility of pet ownership, there is another little thing: Contentment. Sometimes, it all hits me at once when I see that trusting look or get some affection from a creature that is depending on me to meet its needs and keep it safe. It's a nice feeling. God gave us dominion (Gen. 1.26, 28) over the animals, as well as stewardship (Psalm 8.6-9). We are being held responsible to him as well as our own consciences for the care we give them.

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