Archive for November, 2012

How to understand the 2012 election in one quote

November 8, 2012

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

Attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

However, he may not have written it. But, even if he didn’t — let’s assume he would do so if he could.

Penny auction ripoff

November 4, 2012

I started looking into online “penny auction” sites after hearing a national radio host (who needs to be set straight) endorse www.beezid.com.

It was clearly a shady situation (pay to buy each bid and then get outbid at the last second each time) that exploited compulsive gamblers. They will chase the prize like a glazed-eyed granny at a slot machine.

Looking up “beezid scam” and “beezid ripoff” uncovered mountains of evidence that I was right.

People could spend a fortune bidding on an item whose worth was far less than the price they “won” it at.

The use of shills, bots, faked reviews, and delaying the honest winning bid behind the scenes can string the poor sucker along further.

Then I started looking into the proliferation of these various sites, which cost almost nothing to set up and use a common script. Look up “penny auction scams” for an look at how popular this has become.

OK, you likely knew all about it – but I admit to being stunned at it all. Even the HONEST sites (no shills or bots) still appear to me to be shady.

These make online casinos seem almost legit by comparison.

I should just put up a site with a sign that says “Send me your money FOR free” and wait for the bucks to roll in! P.T. Barnum greatly overestimated the time it took to see the birth of another sucker.