Why Can’t I Ever Dream Up Scams Like This?

This is fitting, since the Egyptians domesticated the cat

I received an email from a fundie crying that some commie-liberal puppy-raping Jesus-hating atheist doesn’t like the national motto (“In God we trust”). He wants me to sign a petition to Congress to get them to vote yes on some unconstitutional legislation to waste tax dollars promoting his religion.

I get emails like this all the time. Some fundie pressure group wants their agenda passed, so they set up a website to make it easy to sign your name. They promise to then fax (Speaking of which, does anybody still use fax machines anymore? Which century do these fundies live in, anyway?) your message to Congress.

Usually at the bottom of that page somewhere there is a request for a donation to allow the fundie running the site to continue to sit on his fat ass all day sipping Long Island ice teas out by the pool or banging the Guatemalan cleaning lady in the laundry room while his wife is out shuttling the kids to soccer practice in the Chevy Suburban, even though you work two jobs (as a greeter at Wal-Mart and as a Guatemalan cleaning lady) and can barely make ends meet and absolutely can’t afford to make a donation but you do so anyway because you know if you don’t that Barrack Hussein Obama will take your guns “do this important work”.

I went to the site to look at their message. This is what I saw:

Petition

Holy crap! What a great racket! You have to pay them a minimum of $18, or they won’t even take your signature! For that amount, they’ll fax your message to “all 47 Republican Senators”. That’s actually quite cheap. I didn’t know you could buy Republican senators for only 38 cents each. Haliburton overpaid!

Or… or!… you can “Fax all 53 Democrat/Independent Senators for just $19”. (But these are low-grade politicians (“Democrats”), which explains why they’re only 36 cents each. Hey, you get what you pay for!)

But wait! There’s more! You can buy the entire Senate for one low payment of just $29! They make sure to point out to you that this is their “BEST VALUE”! (and it’s not some crappy lower-case “best value”. No! This is the primo, French Freedom Roast, upper-case “BEST VALUE”!)

But if you order today, you can instead get all House Democrats for just $55! (This is a limited-time offer. Supplies are limited. Very limited. And perishable. A whole bunch of them expired last November.)

Or choose all House Republicans for only $59! (And your health coverage, but you never really had that to begin with, so there’s no real cost to you. And Medicare; it will also cost you your Medicare. And Social Security. And civil rights. But you had no use for those things anyway.)

If you order in the next ten minutes (and pay double) we’ll double your order. You’ll get the entire House of Representatives for just $99!

But in this special internet offer, we’re going to give you the entire legislative and executive branches of government! That’s all 47 Republican senators! All 53 Democratic & independent senators! All 193 Democratic & independent congressman! Every one of the 242 Republican congressmen! Plus, we’ll throw in one imported president for free!

Some people pay $18. Some people pay $19. Others pay $29. But you won’t pay $55, You won’t pay $59. No, you won’t even pay $99. You can send 536 messages using 19th-century technology for the one low price of $119! Order today, and you’ll pay us an extra $40 just because! That’s right! You can pay our already-inflated price of $119, or you can pay the even-higher price of $159 for no added benefit!

17 Responses to “Why Can’t I Ever Dream Up Scams Like This?”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    This could just be urban legend at this point, but the word on the street is that politicians pay more attention to faxes than email. Faxes, however, require no more effort to send than email since there are so many electronic fax gateways to choose from. In other words, I don’t have to get off my fat murikan ass any more to send a fax, but it supposedly has a bigger political impact than email.

    Supposedly snail mail and phone calls are still best, but that can’t be packaged nicely into a scam like this can.

  2. 4theist Says:

    Holy crap (literally)! Did you see the motto on their banner image? “Sending Petitions to God and Government TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM”! That’s right next to an image with “PrayInJesusName.org” under it.

    Again I say, holy crap!

    Do you think they really feel like they won’t have religious freedom if the US motto isn’t “In God we Trust”? The level of irony and hypocrisy is unbelieveable.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    This could just be urban legend at this point, but the word on the street is that politicians pay more attention to faxes than email.

    I’ve heard that, but geez, that was 20 years ago. You don’t suppose it’s still true?

    And do these fax carpet bombs carry any weight at all? If you’re not one of their constituents, they should just ignore you.

    Supposedly snail mail and phone calls are still best

    Which would make sense, because those require effort!

    that can’t be packaged nicely into a scam like this can.

    I know! I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this myself. That doesn’t mean I still can’t get in on it. How much could it possibly cost to set up a server with a program to do this? Now all I have to do is think of a cause I can milk that won’t affect me either way.

    I know golfers are crazy. Anybody who won’t come out of a thunderstorm is a potential gold mine. I’ll tell them that those scumbag Democrats are going to tax golf balls because of golf’s effect on global warming. For only $179 (that’s less than $10 per hole!), I’ll fax all of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, and Al Gore. I’m going to be rich!

  4. Jeff Says:

    I know golfers are crazy. Anybody who won’t come out of a thunderstorm is potential gold mine. I’ll tell them that those scumbag Democrats are going to tax golf balls because of golf’s effect on global warming.

    Yes, golfers are crazy. This could actually work.

  5. Jackdaw Says:

    What I love the most about those options is that they flat out admit that those extra 40 bucks supposedly going to the Pay in Jesus Name Project won’t do a damn thing impactwise, and might actually even be counterproductive.

  6. Cyc Says:

    Sending Petitions to God and Government TO DEFEND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

    Wait, you can send petitions to god now? What exactly is the address? How do they know if god received them? Or is this just another term for prayer?

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    Jackdaw:

    …going to the Pay in Jesus Name Project…

    They actually call themselves the Pray in Jesus Name Project, but your description is more accurate!

    Cyc:

    Wait, you can send petitions to god now?… Or is this just another term for prayer?

    Well when you do it, it’s “prayer”. When they do it for you, it’s a “petition”, and they’ll charge you $159 for the privilege.

  8. Ahmed Says:

    Just watch, when the next best mail transfer system comes, they’ll charge us for e-mail. Presumably, I’m guessing they plan to stencil “In God We Trust” on all the money they get, because these numbers are pretty absurd.

  9. sue blue Says:

    “And, if you submit in the next ten minutes, you’ll get this authentic bumper sticker hand-signed by GOD! Do it in the next five minutes and get a splinter of THE ONE TRUE CROSS, authenticated AND SIGNED by JESUS HIMSELF, for only $5.99 plus S&H!! Let everybody know you PAYED and PRAYED TODAY!!!”

  10. RunawayLawyer Says:

    Can someone translate this for me? I don’t speak Jeasusfreak.

    “Disclaimer: The views of Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who was honorably but involuntarily discharged from the Navy in 2007 after facing court-martial for praying ‘in Jesus name’ in uniform, (but was later vindicated by Congress), are his own personal views.”

  11. RunawayLawyer Says:

    Praise the lord for google!

    This is interesting: http://blog.au.org/2009/04/24/naval-maneuvers-exchaplain-admits-hes-not-all-he-appeared-to-be/

    http://pubrecord.org/religion/3355/ex-chaplain-offered-sacrifice-jesus/

    Interesting.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’ve heard that, but geez, that was 20 years ago. You don’t suppose it’s still true?

    No, I mean I’ve heard this as recently as within the last year. I get a lot of political spam and several organizations have mentioned the phone, then fax, then mail, then email order of priority. That’s why I said it might just be urban legend at this point. I find it hard to believe politicians listen to fax blasts any more than email spam. But, I suppose in a scam it may add some legitimacy to the effort.

    I wish politicans considered hand-crafted non-spam email stronger. I prefer writing my Congress Critters, but feel paper and stamps are just a waste of resources.

    Filter the spam and emails that are all written exactly the same, sure… But pay attention to me when I take the time to email you personally.

    (I should point out that my state house representative always replies to me personally via email or calls me after I email him, so kudos to him!)

    I know golfers are crazy. Anybody who won’t come out of a thunderstorm is a potential gold mine. I’ll tell them that those scumbag Democrats are going to tax golf balls because of golf’s effect on global warming. For only $179 (that’s less than $10 per hole!), I’ll fax all of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, and Al Gore. I’m going to be rich!

    And unlike other demographics, golfers tend to have deeper pockets. This is potentially a great idea. How religious are golfers, in general? Can you stick on another $40 for a prayer? That’s a pretty good amount of money for mumbling to yourself for a few seconds.

    “Disclaimer: The views of Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who was honorably but involuntarily discharged from the Navy in 2007 after facing court-martial for praying ‘in Jesus name’ in uniform, (but was later vindicated by Congress), are his own personal views.”

    A douchebag who fancies himself a Christian martyr by boldly asserting his tribal loyalty in a stupid way? UNPOSSIBLE!

    I love how uber-right winger Christians have such a strong military fetish. This must go hand-in-hand with what Jeff frequently points out about how these sickos relish the thought of most of humanity being eternally tortured in hellfire.

    Fuck, it’s so twisted. I need to wash these thoughts out of my mind by looking at pictures of kittehs doing funny things now.

  13. Jeff Says:

    I love how uber-right winger Christians have such a strong military fetish.

    Onward Christian Soldiers. This is why you see so many of them in professional sports as well. It’s how their brains are hardwired. They require rigidly defined boundaries, and it results in a bipolar, black & white view of reality. They need to categorize people along these lines: winners/losers, saved/lost, etc.

    This is the reason I keep saying we need to recognize it as a neurological disorder, develop a testing protocol for it and prevent them from breeding and passing it on. It’s long since ceased to have any evolutionary advantage (if it ever did), and, if left unaddressed, will be our undoing.

  14. Lindsay Says:

    I watched the Pat Tillman story the other night…if you haven’t seen it yet, go and put it in your Netflix queue. It was an excellent movie. I found it interesting how at his funeral John McCain and other military leaders (not to metion Dubya at a White House Correspondents dinner) made Christian references in their speeches about Tillman, when in fact he was a non-believer.

    What I found interesting was one of Pat’s comrades who was with him in the moments before his death was a Mormon, and in the middle of the firefight he started praying out loud. Tillman yelled at him to cut the crap, that he needs him to stay focused on what was happening now instead of letting his attention wander in prayer. The comrad said that Tillman probably saved his life. That statement makes me wonder…wouldn’t you think the military would want people who would be less prone to disconnecting from reality, especially in the heat of battle? Or is it just a trade off as the military can easily sway and influence soldiers and civilians that their fight is a just cause b/c Jesus & Co. are backing them?

  15. Jeff Says:

    Or is it just a trade off as the military can easily sway and influence soldiers and civilians that their fight is a just cause b/c Jesus & Co. are backing them?

    Yes, but it’s also – mainly, I think – due to the fact that it’s all a result of the same mind state. I’m convinced that territoriality, competition, aggression, pageantry and the dramatic impulse are all coming from or are heavily influenced by the same part(s) of the brain.

    That, coupled with the fact – as I keep stating – that the way in which they see reality is almost certainly dictated by a hardwired predisposition to authoritarianism and bipolar thinking. I have no problem categorizing it as a neurological disorder – a form of developmental disability.

    Plus, since we ended the draft and the Republicans took over and got rid of all sorts of educational funding, the military has been drawing increasingly from the lowest social strata. These are people whose upbringing and circumstances have tended to reinforce an adherence to a conservative, self-deprecating theology.

    It’s a toxic mixture, and it ain’t pretty.

  16. Lindsay Says:

    My dad used to be a guidance counselor, and it is true my dad would steer the kids who obviously weren’t college bound (not always b/c of intellegence but many times kids of average intellegence who needed money for college) to the military. The smartest kids almost always 4 year university bound.

    When I graduated high school in 2000, all of the kids I knew that went into the military before then did so for 2 reasons; A) Money for college (I think the National Guards paid up to 75% of tuition cost in those days) and B) It was the only way forseeable way to them to get the hell out of our little town. Patriotism, God/Country what you will didn’t rank too highly. It maybe has changed after 9/11, but I doubt all that much.

  17. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yea, I have a pretty big problem with the education carrot for military service. Don’t get me wrong, for what they are risking, it’s the least we can do.

    My point is that in a lot of situations, there are kids that don’t really have a good choice in the matter, especially if their standardized test scores aren’t quite up to muster.

    Of course, the alternatives are either forced service or the draft, so it’s sort of no-win.