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Monthly Archives: September 2013
President Putin of Russia has recently made an address to the American people.
Yes, that’s right. Not the Russian people, the American people. Going right over Obama’s head to tell the American people the truth about Syria.
Let’;s look at the relationship between Obama and Putin.
In this context, the power relationship is that of Putin shaking Obama’s hand at the G20 with his hand above Obama’s, palm facing down and with his left arm grasping Obama’s right arm in a firm grip on his bicep. This is the handshake used to demonstrate dominance.
Putin is telling the US (and the rest of the world) the pecking order.
Lowest is Syria who are not even dealt with in the same group as the US; the Syrians are not partners.
Next comes the Americans as the junior partners
Top comes Putin and the Russians.
As with all well executed insults it is very hard for the recipient of the insult to complain about what has been said. The right people around the world will understand exactly the message.
Here are some key parts from Putin’s speech to the American people. With helpful translations.
RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people
Translation: Obama cannot be trusted. I’ll speak to you directly.
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism.
Translation: Why are you inviting more attacks on your country? Why do you want continual war everywhere?
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos.
Translation: Obama is trying to break international law by wanting to invade a sovereign state.
It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it.
Translation: Stop warmongering.
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.
Translation: You lost the last three wars. In fact, you didn’t finish them. Why start a fourth?
I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too.
Translation: Your president talks crap.
There is now a Whitehouse petition that says this:
Give to President Putin the Nobel Peace Prize Mr. Obama was given in 2009.
Where as Mr. Obama made a sincere commitment to starting a war with Syria, engaging our military in unwanted conflict, and doing so without the support of his people we resolve that Mr. Obama should deliver the Nobel Peace prize given to him in 2009 to a man of Peace, the President of Russia, Mr. Putin. Where as Mr. Putin enabled the United States to avoid an unwanted and unwarranted military action he has brought us to the “brink” of peace.
You can sign it >>here<<. I understand European mentality and I have a pretty good grasp of Russian mentality. As they are in Europe too. Think of it like this: If Obama decided to "address the Russian people" and tell them their presidents last speech was full of exceptionalist bollox, do you imagine it would make the front page of the nationals there? :chuckle: Syria has come out today and said they wont deal with the Americans at all with their chemical weapons because they cannot trust them. They also want the intervention by funding rebels stopped. A Putinesque stab in the tail just as Obama thought he had a get-out-of-jail-free card. The facts are that Obama, his puppet Cameron and the Socialist clown from France wanted to bomb Syria and effect regime change ultimately. Due to Obama and Kerry's warmongering, bumbling and incompetence, Putin has stole the show as peacemaker, shown himself to be a proper politician, staved off illegal American intervention and got Syria to give up its weapons. Without firing a single bullet. Given their own way, Obama, Cameron and Hollande would have been dropping bombs and killing innocents by now. Fact. Ergo, Putin has saved lives. Don't imagine the media will miss that. Is some of it contrived and stage managed? Probably. Point being Putin's street cred in Europe has gone through the roof overnight. Cameron, Hollande and Obama will lose their next elections on the back of it and have all lost credibility across the world. Rightly so. And then just to rub salt in the wound, Putin addresses the American people on the front page of the NYT and tells them their presidents speech was full of shite. :chuckle: However you spin it, Putin has come out smelling of roses and the rest of them look like the clowns they are. An American recently said this about the current mood in the USA: We (American populace) want nothing to do with the Obama-led warmongers and terrorist sympathizers in Washington. That is the only reason the big 'O' did not instigate a cruise missile campaign against Assad. It wasn't Putin's or Iran's opposition. Putin's military presence in the Mediterranean is laughable. It was the American people's opposition! Prior to last Monday, most polling showed opposition among US citizens ranging from 80% anti, 20% pro amongst Republicans and Independents to 60% anti, 40% pro amongst Obama Democratic supporters. Even amongst the elitist political leaders in Congress, he was predicted to resoundedly lose in the House of Representatives, and possibly even lose in the Democrat Party controlled Senate. Obie realized that he was marching to the beat of a different drummer and that America was not marching with him. If he had attacked Syria, against the fervently held feelings of the whole country, he would probably have been impeached within three months. You should be here to experience the mood in the USA now. There is a rebellious spirit throughout the nation. Possibly the transgressions of the looming Obie dictatorship have finally awakened us. We knew Bush was a bastard so we voted for Obie thinking peace and adult-inspired national leadership would be installed. Wow! Were we so totally wrong. I think that there is an addictive reason-depriving element in the air of Washington, DC that transforms all of our elected officials and federal bureaucrats into beings who believe that they are omniscient and omnipotent and that the rest of US citizens exist to pay taxes and to be abused by them. I never thought that the Libertarian Party would have any chance at leadership in this country. Now I think that this country will have no chance without installing it and its principles to our leadership positions. It's no secret, the Russians do not want a larger war in the Middle East. The US were gunning for just that. Now the threat of the US bumbling in again is reduced and at the behest of the President of The Russian Federation. So, yes, the Russians got what they wanted and the US got pushed back. Brave new world. One where the President of Russia comes out of it as peacemaker, and only the American government seem to support the Orwellian mantra written as fiction: "WAR IS PEACE," "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY," "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." Comments are welcome below, or you can join a forum debate here: US and Arab intervention in Syria. Continue reading
When you are an online seller, you are going to get stiffed now and again by a small percentage of your buyers – that’s a given. A small margin needs to be built into your prices to self-indemnify against this.
If you are an eBay seller, and/or a Paypal user, then you are guaranteed to get stiffed more often as their rules are stacked entirely against the seller. And buyers know that, hence those mediums attract many dishonest buyers.
With Paypal users, all they need to do is claim the item didn’t arrive – and they get free money as Paypal will refund them from your account. Simple as that. The seller will always be in the wrong.
You will have sent the item and Paypal will gleefully refund the buyer as well. Nice huh? Yes, it is unfair and maybe corrupt, but that’s the price of using Paypal.
This is called item not received fraud. Yes, its fraud. But, its hard to prove. So many of them get away with it time and time again.
If you are a seller that uses eBay and/or Paypal, unless you send the item tracked, the buyer can claim non-receipt. If you are selling low value items you have good markup on, you may choose to take the risk.
If the seller uses a credit or debit card (with the exception of transactions processed by Nochex that doesn’t allow chargebacks), they can also claim non receipt of goods and chargeback the payment without difficulty.
Certainly, in the USA, chargeback is often used instead of customer service it seems. Many Americans are too lazy to contact you in the event of a genuine problem, they just call their bank and do a chargeback.
If an item you sold, erm…. doesn’t arrive, you may take the view that sending another doesn’t cost you much (assuming that is the case). Most of the time, this will be item not received fraud, and the buyer simply wants two for the price of one.
You may alternatively choose to wash your hands of the buyer and choose to refund them for a quiet life. This way they simply get a free item. Either way, the buyer wins.
So here’s the thing: How many people are there out there enjoying free stuff and/or free refunds for their online shopping this way? And more to the point, what can honest online sellers do about it apart from document them somewhere for others to find?
We know that the amount of items delivered incorrectly and/or lost by the Post Office is minuscule compared to the volumes they handle. In the real world, as a volume online seller, you might expect two or three genuine item not received claims a year. If that.
Some small firms and online sellers get three a week! Gee, there are some unlucky people out there for whom Royal Mail doesn’t appear to work properly, eh?
Our websites take debit/credit cards and Paypal. Don’t you think it odd that almost ALL the item not received stuff we get is from Paypal users? People who know if you don’t cave in, they will get a refund anyway?
What NOT to do with Paypal Transactions:
Never allow an item to be collected. You cant prove delivery so they get free money – kerching!
Never send anything you cant afford to give away untracked. If they claim the item is not received, they get free money – kerching!
Never send to any address that isn’t the one documented on the Paypal transaction. If you do, they get free money – kerching! If they want delivery to another address, refund it and ask them to order/pay again using the correct address.
Never write on an item something like “If out, leave at number 29”. Ignore any requests to do so.
Never not send an item tracked because of buyer excuses about being at work and nobody to sign, etc. That is their problem – not yours.
What we do now is send items tracked or not according to an informal risk profile we have developed.
If we think there may be risk attached to the transaction, and it is over a certain value, it goes by some kind of tracked service.
In reality, this means addresses in known shit holes like Salford, some parts of Newcastle, Manchester and London, and anywhere else most people wouldn’t want to live, is more likely to get sent Recorded Delivery or similar. Simply because we get a lot of item not received fraud from poor areas. Which stands to reason I suppose.
The name and type of address we also look at.
Mr N Nbokumogo, 15 Nelson Mandella Towers, Craptown, East London will have his order sent Recorded Delivery.
Mable Higginthorpe, Butterscotch Cottage, Twee Village, The Cotswolds, will have her order sent by normal mail.
This isn’t foolproof, as the squeezed middle class are now getting in on item not received fraud. Certainly the Quidco, Wowcher and Moneysavingexpert.com brigade. They like something for nothing.
Risk Profiling on International Sales:
It goes without saying that you will be wasting your time selling to the third world – so forget Africa, India, most of South America and such places. Set up your shopping cart to exclude buyers from these locations.
Americans love to charge back, especially on foreigners, and usually before the item will have arrived from an international location anyway. Tracking is standard and cheap to do within the States. They understand no other method. So when they ask for a tracking number, and you haven’t got one, many chargeback fearing scam. Send to the US tracked if you cant afford to give it away.
Ireland (that is southern, not Northern) we seem to get more than our fair share of item not received fraud from. We set up our shopping cart to charge them higher shipping rates now to cover us to send everything there tracked.
Spain we also seem to get a few item not received claims from. Again, send stuff tracked there unless you can afford to give it away.
Heading Off Potential Item Not Received Fraud:
When we get one of these, we ask them to contact their local sorting office in case “a card wasn’t left”. We know they usually are, but it gives them a face-saving get out for the next bit.
We also ask for the location of their local sorting office so we can contact them directly, and perhaps ask them to start an investigation for theft in transit.
At the same time, we ask that they check with neighbours, look in bins, porches, sheds, etc. in case it was left there.
In over 50% of cases, that’s the last we hear of them!
Of course, they don’t want an investigation at their local sorting office in case the postie remembers the big brown box from last week, or someone there says “What again?” down there. These are serial item not received fraudsters who don’t want attention. They will back off from a seller who doesn’t immediately cave in and wants to investigate instead of refund without questions.
The Hard Nosed Ones:
From time to time, despite proof of delivery being available, some claim that they didn’t sign for it (the signature will always be an unintelligible squiggle or the name wont be the same). Others will claim an empty box was received. These are the ones who are narked you sent something tracked unexpectedly.
Invariably, these addresses will be flats or council estates. Often in areas with high immigration. We fight those claims and usually win.
So What to Do?
We routinely Google email addresses, names and addresses of people who claim items haven’t arrived in case they have been named and shamed somewhere. Occasionally they have, and a simple link to that content makes them go away duly rumbled. However, most of that type of content out there is about eBay, not private websites. So lets put that right.
If you have been shafted by someone on eBay, we have a name and shame article for that here: Name and Shame Bad eBayers where you can document the reprobate. There is more information and articles for eBayers also in this section: eBay information. Only document someone below if it is an item not received claim.
However, if you have suffered an item not received claim, or other spurious claim when selling online via any medium (especially your own site), these are the ones that we need to document for the benefit of each other.
If you get a claim and Google brings you here to read your buyer did it to someone else, that is highly unlikely to be a genuine claim. Rather, that is evidence you have encountered a serial fraudster you can then report to eBay, the bank or Paypal.
It is important to note that if we begin to list such people in the comments section below here, not all of them will be scammers and fraudsters. Some will be innocent people whose item genuinely didn’t arrive. For them, it should be no more onerous than being in a telephone directory. We accept that they may simply be the victim of bad luck.
However, if we build up a list below, and Google brings you here for an item not received claim being made against you, and that name and address is here – publish it again!
This can build to be an excellent list of exactly who these people are who don’t receive stuff so often.
Use the comment box below. You want name, address, email address, eBay name (if applicable) and brief outline of the circumstances.
About time online sellers fought back. Continue reading
If you haven’t visited GoGabber in a while, allow us to bring you up to date!
As you probably know, the forums came under new ownership and management in late 2012; almost a year ago now. A lot has happened since then. GoGabber has its roots in the dating genre, but had morphed into a general chat site (in English and Russian languages) over the years. Following a member vote on the future direction of the site, it was decided to try to point the site slowly towards slightly more specific niches: World events, the economy, news and politics. With maybe a little travel, holidays and places thrown in (well, we like to be diverse).
Of course, you can still talk about pretty much anything at GG, but if you like political and current events debate or travel, then come and have another look as GG is changing.
Current Popular Topics:
US and Arab Intervention in Syria Imminent (Hot Topic!): http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=9955
Another Form of Computer Fraud: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10757
Muslim Riots In France – Guy Strangled Cop Giving Ticket To His Veiled Wife: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10748
The Gibraltar Issue: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10830
The Third-World Hellhole That is Detroit: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10747
Bribery in Russia: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10736
The Most Surprising Things About America: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10866
Mumbai – The City of Contrasts: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10662
Observations from Togliatti, Russia: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10807
Most Online Dating Sites Won’t Match Republicans With Democrats: http://www.gogabber.com/showthread.php?t=10836
What else is going on?
We have recently moved over to new super-fast UK dedicated cloud servers, so the site is nice and fast as a forum should be. We have continued to repair the little faults and update the site over the last few months, so everything is working like it should (fingers crossed).
Like any forum, GG has suffered its fair share of trolls and troublemakers over the years. However, over the last year or so, the moderation team has undergone some pretty drastic changes, and we are firmly on top of both spam and former troublemakers now. So you may find the atmoshphere at GG has changed for the better since you last looked in.
We have recently re-activated the site’s long-forgotten Twitter account. If you are a Twitter user, please follow us, tweet any of our topics that interest you to your followers using the buttons in every topic, and generally help us spread the word about GG any way you can. Find us at @gogabber_com Continue reading