Sunday, August 19, 2007

Money laundering spammers

What is the most common criminal solicitation in the electronic world?

For me, it is e-mails that usually read something like...

"I would like to know you dear sir for most important task. Yes, I am Admask Kadauma, Barrister to late and wealthy madam Camazun Dolmen of province Minamoto in Sanngamita province. A tragic loss too be certain.

I have urgent need to transfer sum of 8 million US dollars to your considerate care -- for which you will be handsomely paid fee of $2.M for services.  I need and trust your to handle these sensitive matter and you are best. Please reply to me.  Stability of government may, so please hurry.
- Admask Kadauma"

Although I made it up, the content above is similar to e-mails we all receive (except the English is better in my spoof). 

What I've never understood about these obvious attempts to flout our money laundering laws, is how the authors can be so blatant without risking detection and prosecution.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

To: Editorial board at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Their question to readers:

Would you be willing to pay a higher sales tax on gasoline to pay for bridge maintenance and replacement?

My reply...

Dear Editorial board,

My answer is no I would not and it’s the phrasing of your question that might draw scrutiny from other like-minded readers. That is, why do you presuppose that the only way to fund such infrastructure improvement is through an increase in the gas tax- or an increase in any tax for that matter? We already pay among the highest sales tax rates at the pump.

During the previous budget cycle, Governor Doyle, like a modern day Cesar Augustus, used his famous “Frankenstein veto” to instantly transfer over $400 million dollars from the highway fund to K-12 education. The magnitude of his audacity surprised pols on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps some of those funds might have remained better invested in infrastructure like that suggested by your query to readers in today’s paper.

In any event - why not ask a follow up question to JS readers?

“In order to fund such bridge work, would you allow the consolidation of school districts where enrollment no longer justifies operating such schools, or through asset sales of state owned property and land used by a paucity of our population, or through cancellation of marginally-necessary pet projects?”

OK, I understand space limitations -- but you get my point.


John J. Maddente