Probe: Jan. 26, 2001

January 26, 2001

QUESTION: I got a call from a man who said there had been some problem and all my credit card information was on the Internet.

He said he could fix it but he needed my card expiration date. I gave it to him. He said he needed the letter that came after the date. I gave it to him.

He asked for my credit card number. I told him, "I don't give ANYBODY my credit card number." He hung up!

I called my credit card company. It said crooks are targeting senior citizens. What do you think? — No Spring Chicken, Brawley


Those crooks are going to be supping on thin gruel preying on today's elders. This generation of old folks was "hip" before it was cool.

When one sprightly El Centro senior got a call from a man claiming to represent her credit card company, she responded politely.

He wanted to know her card's expiration date. She told him. He wanted to know the letter that came after the date. She told him.

After several such get acquainted questions, he popped the big one: "What is your credit card number?"

"You have my credit card number; you tell me," she said and he hung up.

QUESTION: Last week I went to Quartzsite, Ariz., to see the gathering of the RVers. I was not disappointed. It was something to see.

One motor home displayed the American flag upside down. I asked some friends if they knew why anybody would fly the flag upside down.

They advised me to leave well enough alone because the motor home owner was angry about the outcome of the election.

Is it acceptable to display Old Glory in an upside down position? What can be done to correct this obvious disrespect? — Patriot, Holtville

The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have consistently held that the right to use the flag to express political opinion is protected free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

What can be done about it? You could have marched over and ordered the flag flyer to show some respect.

He could have then hit you in the nose — and you might have had him arrested for assault.

But you never know how these things will turn out. He might have beaten you to a pulp before the cops arrived or you might have been arrested for instigating a fight.

QUESTION: Why are people still talking about Bill Clinton's sexual escapades? And now they're talking about Jesse Jackson's love life.

Thomas Jefferson had a black mistress who bore him several children. Did people get upset about this? — Bored, Brawley

Lets face it. People like to talk about other people's sex lives.

Of course people got "upset" about Jefferson's alliance with Sally Hemmings, one of his slaves.

"They," including you, are still talking about it 200 years later.

Jefferson was a single man. He never remarried after his wife died.

Since we're talking gossip, let's mention it's highly possible that Sally was his sister-in-law as well as his slave.

Some gossipy historians say Jefferson's black mistress was the daughter of his white father-in-law.

Maybe Sally caught Jefferson's eye because she reminded him of his beloved and departed wife, Martha.

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