Now that people have become wise to Nigerian money scam e-mails and “click here” buttons that infect computers with the latest virus, deceptive online practices are getting sneakier.
One sucked me in the other day, promising I could win $1,000 if I submitted a cute photo of my pet. Since I obsess over my dog Sawyer to the point of probably needing psychological help, I chomped on that offer with a few clicks of the mouse, a submission form, and uploading one of the 5,428 endearing photos I have of the pooch.
One thousand dollars could buy a heck of a lot of dog treats.
The junk e-mail began immediately. I was first encouraged to tell all my friends, family members and people I might have passed on the street 12 years ago to vote for my dog’s endearing photo. After all, I was told, the only way I could win that $1,000 was to amass the most votes from fellow Internet suckers.
Anyone who wanted to vote, of course, had to fill out their own submission form that disclosed their name, e-mail, phone number, blood type, shoe size and date of birth. They would then be immediately slammed with their own set of junk e-mail.
The real fear of getting old is not having our skin sag, our joints ache or our teeth fall out – it’s the fear of being treated like crap.
Such has largely become the case for the older generation these days, with a litany of society’s rude behavior towards them to prove it.
Let’s start with the Facebook page entitled “I Hate Old People” – that’s right. It’s a page with more than 2,300 members and a captivating photo of an elderly woman giving viewers the bird.
The page description, along with a number of other online rants, complain about everything from old people hair nets to their aroma.
“Old people smell funny,” complained one of my friends who wished to remain anonymous.
“When I was a kid all the old people had their pants pulled up to their armpits, wore suspenders, and treated me like a slave,” he none too fondly recalls.
While my pal cannot explain what he has against suspenders, he does admit that he’s softened his view a bit after meeting a few older folks that he actually likes. We also have to wonder if his turning 54 years old had anything to do with it.
Others remain rude, crude and downright disrespectful to the elderly.
Jaime Martinez-Garcia, of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, was apparently not going to let anything stand in his way of achieving his goal of living in the United States.
Not even deportation. And surely not U.S. Border Patrol agents, whom he reportedly kicked and threw rocks at when they tried to stand in his way.
Martinez-Garcia’s dream of remaining in the U.S. came true this week when a federal judge in Tucson sentenced him to six years in federal prison, according to a news release from the District of Arizona Office of the United States Attorney.
His sentence came after a jury at his August trial found him guilty of two counts of assault on a federal officer and one count of illegal re-entry after deportation.
His success story began with a challenge from the get-go, as he was caught after illegally entering the United States and shuttled back to Mexico May 20, 2009.
Not to be deterred by that annoying thing called deportation, Martinez-Garcia returned to U.S. soil three days later.
But this time, alas, he encountered Border Patrol agents in Potrero Canyon, west of Nogales. When they told him to stop, he instead kicked one of the agents in the leg and ran.
Another agent nearly caught up with Martinez-Garcia when the Mexican man stopped and picked up a big rock. The agent drew his weapon and ordered Martinez-Garcia to put down the rock. So he threw it at the agent, hitting him in the leg.
Martinez-Garcia then picked up another rock and, once again, was ordered to drop it. He did not. The agent fired.
The release did not note where Martinez-Garcia was hit with the bullet, but we know the injury was not life-threatening as he was alive enough to attend his trial and alive enough to receive a federal prison term.
He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Bury.
Way to go, Martinez-Garcia. Perhaps he can serve as an example to others who try, but fail, to start a new life in this blooming land of opportunity.
“U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol hundreds of deserted miles in our vast Southwestern Deserts protecting our border every day,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “Just as our citizen’s safety is a priority for them, their safety is a priority of ours.”
The investigation in this case was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Border Patrol. The prosecution was handled by Ann DeMarais, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.
What do you think?
Do you think a prison term is a ploy to stay in the U.S.?
While thieves were never at the top of the list of upstanding citizens to begin with, a few went to new lows by robbing a preschool over the Thanksgiving weekend.
A preschool. Isn’t there some kind of moral code against that?
It gets even better. One of the items stolen during the thieves’ two-day haul from Vail’s Mesquite Elementary School and its campus preschool was hearing aide equipment used and owned by a deaf student.
We wonder if taking the proverbial candy from a baby is next on their list.
The thieves first hit Friday night, Nov. 26, by stealing into the elementary school’s classrooms at 9455 E. Rita Road and ripping 15 projectors out of their ceiling mounts as well as ripping off wireless airports, routers and a host of other equipment, a news release from the Vail School District said.
The burglars also rifled through teachers’ cabinets and desks, taking their computers and other items.
That’s the night they hit the campus preschool, running off with a WII Game Console and games that were part of the preschool program.
School officials hired a security team to watch the campus Saturday, but the thieves apparently had a lot of time on their hands.
They simply waited until security personnel finished their night watch and left at 5 a.m. Sunday. Then thieves broke in again.
That time around they pilfered 12 more projectors and another haul of equipment including laptops, routers and airports, as well as did more rummaging through teacher cabinets and desks.
The school does have an alarm system, the release notes, but the system does not cover the classrooms. Perhaps it should, as the Thanksgiving weekend burglary was the fourth time Mesquite Elementary has been hit this year.
With school budgets scraping the bottom of the barrel, however, we wonder where the money would come from to install a more comprehensive security system.
In the meantime, school administration urges anyone with information on these vandals and bandits to contact the school.
School officials are appealing to the community for information about the vandalism and thefts. Please contact Superintendent Baker at 403-8835 or Principal Katherine (Katie) Dabney at 437-3874.