Saturday, June 12, 2004
I THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD
Move over Elvis, as we have a Tupac Shakur sighting on Hollywood Boulevard.
I love L.A.
During my absence, several people asked what my pal and alter-ego William 'Buzz' Phillips has been up to. Well sir, after his brief interaction with Rita Komaki (Part One---Part Two---Part Three) Buzz has found himself blacklisted. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY will have anything to do with him. For example, here’s a letter he wrote to Emperor Darth Misha I of The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:
Subject: Emperor Darth Misha I Fan Club
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 02:39:51 –0500
Emperor Darth Misha I,
My name is William 'Buzz' Phillips. I am the president of the Emperor Darth Misha I fan club in Sacramento, California, and I am writing to find out of you would be available for a speaking engagement.
I will be totally honest and tell you that we only have 25 members (we used to have 26, but Harvey Cain quit when he lost the election for president to me.) We meet every Sunday at one of the members homes, and we each read our favorite posts from the previous week. (Tomorrow I am planning on reading "Blow ME, You Fucking Nanny Statists!") We usually have snacks and beer, and occasionally, time permitting, we read from the posts that we have voted into the Emperor Darth Misha I Hall of Fame. (These are posts that, when nominated receive a supermajority of votes. If voted in, the post is laminated and hung at future meetings.)
I was speaking to some of the other officers tonight, and we agreed that having you come here to give a speech on the state of affairs in our nation would be awesome. We figure that we can all chip in $200, making a total of $5,000. Of course, the plane ticket would come off the top, and any expenses as well, but whatever is left would be yours. I know, you probably demand more than this kind of chump change for your time, but I also thought that since we are such big fans, maybe you could make an exception. Further, to save on the hotel expense, my wife and I would be honored if you wanted to stay here with us. We have a spare bedroom which has a tv (with cable) and we would also be proud to break bread with you.
By the way, if you could mention on your wonderful website that we are always looking for more members, that would be fantastic. There is no charge to join the fan club, although the new members must be willing to host a meeting when their turn comes up. You can have them e-mail me for information. Because this is a weekly club, the members must live in the Sacramento area.
Please do consider taking us up on this speaking engagement. I will mention to the club tomorrow that I have written you and am awaiting your decision. That will pump up the meeting a notch or two!
Buzz got NO REPLY!
Buzz then turned to answering other e-mails like the one Rita sent. Such as:
From: "Mr. Robert Winpoe"
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 21:22:54 -0800
Subject: Can you handle this?
Kindly accept my apology for sending unsolicited mail to you. Although we never met before, I have every reason to believe that you are a highly respected personality, considering the fact that I sourced your profile from a human resource profile database on your country. Though, I do not know to what extent you are familiar with events and fragile political situation in Liberia but it has formed consistent headlines in the CNN, BBC news bulletins, My name is MR. ROBERT WINPOE from Liberia, a Country in West Africa. My Uncle is MR JOHN Y. WINPOE, former DEPUTY MINISTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY in LIBERIA. My uncle was falsely accused of plotting to remove the then PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA (CHARLES TAYLOR) from office. Without trial, Charles Taylor killed him. You can verify this from LIBERIAN EMBASSY in your country. You can also check in some of the international newspapers posted in the web sites below:
Before he was killed, my uncle instructed me to escape with his family to a hide out in BENIN REPUBLIC, another Country in West African and he confined on me that he left some money in a Diplomatic Trust Company, (name withheld for security reasons) he handed me over a certificate meant for a secret Deposit, which he made in the Security Company. If you may ask why do I need a foreign assistance or why can't I take the cash transfer and myself? The answer is that there was an exclusion clause in the original agreement between the company and my uncle which states unambiguously that 'nobody, not even himself, can have access to the consignment in the company, and it Has to be transferred to a foreign beneficiary outside Africa. This was done because he envisaged his arrest and this clause were inserted to prevent any seizure or infiltration of the fund.
My decision to contact you is therefore, informed by this and due to my present social status and total ignorance of the business world.I believe you will appreciate the enormity of trust I repose on you by placing the fortunes of our family in your care. Permit me to request that you should reassure me that you would not let me down in any way. On my part, this is my assurance and guarantee to you. In as much as you follow my instructions carefully, religiously and promptly my guarantee of a hitch-free success remains unshakable. I have contacted the Diplomatice Security Firm to confirm the deposit, which is worth US$28 Million,(Twenty-Eight Million United States dollars) which I presumed my uncle made from the purchase of arms and ammunitions for the Liberia Army.
You will be given a negotiable percentage of the money at the end of the transaction. If you will be willing to assist us claim the money and invest it in your country. I want to assure you that all modalities are in place and it is a risk free transaction. Kindly confirm in your reply if you can come over to enable us conclude this transaction. Kindly include your telephone and fax numbers, to enable me send some other important information across to you. My proposal is highly restricted and should be handled as an urgent transaction requiring trust and confidentiality.
Send all replies to me using this e-mail address:
Mr. Robert Winpoe
For the Family.
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 21:12:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Can you handle this?
I am so sorry for the loss of your father.
I've known for ages that Taylor was a bastard. Hey, when you become friends with the former ruler of Ivory Coast, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, well that sure speaks volumes, now doesn't it? He's a buddy with the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, for God's sake! Hello, United Nations? What further clue did you need that he was a bad, bad man?
I'm sorry, Mr. Winpoe, but when we fail to stop the bloodthirsty savages like Taylor...well, among serious men, I don't really have to finish that sentence, now do I?
So, Mr. Winpoe, on to your situation. I would love to help you out. It's sounds like it will be a fun adventure!
What can I do to help?
William 'Buzz' Phillips
Again, Buzz got NO REPLY!
So, he tried again, although Buzz had grown angry by this point:
Subject: I NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE ARRPOVAL
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 00:15:40 +0100
Firstly, I apologize for breaking into your privacy, however I have decided to contact you through this medium due to the urgency of this proposed business transaction. It is with my profound dignity that I write you this very important and highly confidential letter. I must first solicit your strictest confidentiality in this transaction. This is by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL and ?TOP SECRET?.
Though I now that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, considering the fact that we have not met each other before, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. I am Prof. Smith Perry an Accountat by profession and also a Director General in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Right now I am presently the chairman of the Contract Awards/Review and Payment Approvals committee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. We came to know of you in our search for a reliable and reputable person through a friend of mine that works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Job seekers.
We are looking for a very reliable and God-fearing person to handle a very confidential business transaction for us, which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum CONFIDENCE. My colleagues and I are Top Officials of the Federal Government Contract Review and Award Panel. Our duties include Evaluation, Vetting, and Approval for payment of Contract jobs done for the N.N.P.C etc. In order to commence this business we solicit for your assistance to enable us transfer into your Account the said funds. The source of these funds i as follows: In the first quarter of 2002 this committee was mandated to review and award contracts to the tune of over US$400 million US dollars to a group of five firms for the supply, construction and installation of Oil Pipe lines in Warri and Prt Harcourt environs. During this process my colleagues and I decided and agreed among ourselves to deliberately over-inflate the total contract sum from US$400 million to US$416 million with the main intention of sharing the remaining sum of US$16million amongst ourselves. The Federal Government of Nigeria has since last year approved the sum of US$416 million for us as the contract payment, and the sum of US$400 million has also been paid to the foreign companies concerned as contract entitements for the various jobs done, but since the companies are entitled to US$400 million dollars only, we are now left with US$16 million dollars balance in the account which we intend to disburse amongst ourselves quickly, but by virtue of our position as civil servants and members of this panel, we cannot do this by ourselves, as we are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/or operating foreign accounts in our names while still in Government service,aking it impossible for us to acquire the money in our names right now. I have therefore, been delegated as a matter of trust and urgency by my colleagues in the panel to look for an overseas partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of S$16 million.
Hence I am writing you this letter.
My Colleagues and I have agreed that if you or your company can act as the beneficiary of these funds on our behalf, you or your Company will retain 20% of the total amount (US$16 million), while 60% will be for us (OFFICIALS) and the remaining 20% will be used in offsetting all debts/expenses and Taxes incurred both local and foreign in the cause of this transfer. Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In retun we demand your complete honesty and trust. You must however NOTE therefore,that this transaction will be strictly based on the following terms and conditions as we have stated below;
a) Our conviction of your transparent honesty and diligence
b) That you would treat this transaction with utmost secrecy and confidentiality
c) That you will not ask for more share or try to sit on the funds once it is under your custody, or any form of blackmail.
d) That upon receipt of the funds you will relase the funds as instructed by us after you have removed your share of 20% from the total amount.
Please, note that this transaction is 100% safe, legal and risk free and we hope to conclude this transaction 7 bank working days from the date of rceipt of the necessary requirements from you. We are looking forward to doing business with you and solicit your Total Confidentiality in this transaction.
There is no cause for alarm. I give you my word that you are completely safe in doing busines with us. Transactions like this have been successfully carried out in the past by most Government executives. Here in my country there is great economic and political disarray and thus looting and corruption is rampant and the order of the day amonst high ranking government officials,thus explaining why you might have heard stories of how money is been looted out of Nigeria most especially by our past Presidents, they are doing it for their own selfish interest while we are doing it because we have to secure a good future for ourselves and our families, so that when we retire from active service we do not languish in poverty. I will explain more to you when I have heard from you. Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter using the above email address.I will bring you into the complete picture of this pending business transaction when I have heard from you and also receive your confidential telephone and fax numbers to enable me fax to you all necessary information you need to know about our pending business transaction. Your urgent response will be highly appreciated to enable us still transfer the funds under this final quarter of the year 2003, and please direct your response to this address(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you and God Bless.
Prof. Smith Perry.
Faites un voeu et puis Voila ! www.voila.fr
Subject: Re: I NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE ARRPOVAL
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 19:20:35-0500
You came crawling back to me after all!
As if you don’t remember, I was contacted by you and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for this very same business proposition over two months ago. And after I e-mailed you back that I was willing to be a part of this exciting financial opportunity, I never heard back from you or the NNCP.
You came to me, remember?
How do you think that looks? You say you are ‘looking for a very reliable and God-fearing person’ and then I never even hear back from you? If you are trying to tell me that I’m not reliable, you’ve got another thing coming! And let me tell you something else, I AM a God-fearing man and anybody who says otherwise is looking for a fat-lip, mister! And if you tried to ruin me with my contact from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Job Seekers, you and I are going to have problems!
So, you haven’t found anybody to be the beneficiary, huh?
Well, I’m not happy with the rude treatment, but I do like to help people. I will be happy to make my construction business the beneficiary. However, due to your show of disrespect, I will require a slightly bigger piece of the pie.
My end is 22.5%. That’s the cost for being rude, and it’s non-negotiable.
Let me know when you want to get started.
William ‘Buzz’ Phillips
And, if you can believe it, Buzz got NO REPLY!
WHAT I DID ON MY VACATION FROM BLOGGING
One thing I did was catch up on some reading. I have a bad habit of buying books that for some reason or another I don’t get around to reading right away. Well, this time off gave me a chance to read three books that I’ve had sitting on my bookcase for a long time.
First was John A. Barry’s massive tomb The Ambition And The Power. Barry got incredible access to former Speaker of the House Jim Wright and wrote a long, long book about Wright’s tenure. To me, the most interesting part of The Ambition And The Power was the inside account of how former Congressman Newt Gingrich worked to bring down Wright on fairly non-existent ethics charges. The book is intimidating, but a political junkie will enjoy Barry’s effort.
After my trip through the 80's with The Ambition And The Power, I ventured back to the 70's and read The Rehnquist Choice by John Dean. Another insider account, this one documenting how the Nixon administration came to name William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court. While it's interesting to see how completely and utterly disorganized the process was for President Nixon to name a Supreme Court Justice, the book is pretty dry. The best part came in the afterward while discussing the possibility that Rehnquist lied in his confirmation hearings. However, Dean does score points for admitting that he was the first guy to plug Rehnquist for the Court and later saying:
In pushing Rehnquist for the Court, I had been screwing around.
My favorite quote from President Nixon? While discussing the possiblity of naming a woman to the Court, President Nixon declared:
I don't even think women should be educated.
Finally, I fast-forwarded to the 90's and read George Stephanopoulos' account of his time in President Clinton's White House, All Too Human. I'm a sucker for anybody who screws up and then admits it, and Stephanopoulos does that all through the book. President Clinton is shown for what he was, a brilliant politician who made some really, really stupid choices in his personal life. Stephanopoulos ends the book watching President Clinton's 1999 State of the Union speech:
Now I watched from far away, enjoying the show but wondering too. Wondering what might have been --- if only this good president had been a better man.
BACK IN BUSINESS
Sorry for the lengthy absence, but several dire circumstances, including the death of a loved one has kept me out of Berry's World. However, as of now all is well and I will return to being the voice of reasonable thought in the blog world.
OK, maybe not so reasonable, but I'm back nonetheless.