wwcitizen: (Lincoln Tunnel)
This morning at QuikCheck, the cashiers were trying to lure customers into visiting any QuikCheck at lunchtime for a free submarine sandwich. In order to get the free sub, you had to succumb to a hand stamp.

I had stopped there for veggie snacks on my way to work. It's a "quik stop" off the highway. I overheard the cashier explaining the "Sub Club stamping program" to a female customer ahead of me: Once the cashier stamps a customer's hand, the customer can go to ANY QuikCheck today to receive a free sub sandwich for lunch. The female customer didn't seem to be heading to work (wearing jeans and a polo shirt) and even seemed to consider getting stamped for a free sub later. But she declined.

However, that QuikCheck gets a LOT of business folks throughout the morning on their way to their office. How could QuikCheck possibly expect that these business folks (like me) would want a "Sub Club Stamp" on their hand when they're heading to work (I don't know if that was the title of the program, but it sounds funny...).

My excuse? As I glanced dramatically at my hand and tie, I replied in a short burst of overacting, "Oh, I coudn't possibly have a stamp on my hand like that at the office. **sigh** Thanks, but no thanks."  <-- Not that I would return to any QuikCheck for a free sub for lunch today.  I wouldn't have returned to any QuikCheck even if they had offered some other form of "program conformity", like a paper coupon because I eat my lunch at work.  But, I if I had given the real excuse, I couldn't have been so audibly and visually dramatic this morning. It was invigorating to give the pretense of being high maintenance.  B-)

Somehow the previous customer's lack of enthusiasm left a morning drama void that I had to fill.

The whole thing was strange this morning. Even the cashier was visibly bothered and annoyed at having to ask me to stamp my hand - she even knew I was going to say, "Oh, huh-uh."

I'd never heard of any store offering a hand stamp in the morning for something free at lunch. Stupid campaign.
wwcitizen: (Rainbow Flag)
Please sign this petition and pass it on!
https://www.allout.org/en/actions/dccomics-osc

Orson Scott Card sits on the Board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) - which is basically the KKK to LGBT community.  NOM is a SPLC recognized hate group that has been responsible for the environment of bigotry and oppression that has lead so many LGBT kids to suicide... and now you are giving him a platform in comic books to maximize his ability to denigrate and victimize the greatest possible amount of young people.

I cannot believe that the publishers of Superman would ever hire a hatemonger to speak to young people through their publications!  If this decision stands, it will truly mark the end for me and DC in all of its outlets and markets and I will certainly do my part to make sure that DC's decision (to keep or release) Orson Scott Card will be known throughout all of my social network contacts.  DC Comics needs to reverse their decision to hire Orson Card. Sign this petition!

https://www.allout.org/en/actions/dccomics-osc

UPDATE: For more info about OSC and potential destructive force on DC Comics' staff of writers, read through this article on Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/11/dc-comics-orson-scott-card_n_2663591.html

UPDATE:  Turns out, the people who've signed the petition about Orson are not the only ones who don't want this guy writing about Superman!
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/artist-quits-superman-project-after-outcry-over-writers-marriage-views/?ref=arts
wwcitizen: (Cross USB)
Who likes junk mail? What do YOU do with junk mail? A little while back, I posted about Andy Rooney's solution to junk mail - use the postage paid envelope to stuff with the information a junk sender sends you and send it back to them without providing them any information about you. In doing that, you support the US Postal Service and make the junk sender's money support the US Postal Service. It's a win-win for you, as well, because the junk mail is off your desk and won't fill up your local landfill. YAY!

Last week, we received some particular junk mail that REALLY twists my nickers! Here are some photos:








I can't stand this type of advertising. So many churches do it. What really bothers me is not that I'm receiving this crap, but other people who attend their church services like lemmings, who cannot discern that this kind of ministry is full of crap! They're sending around this "prayer rug" that's about 1.5' x 3'. After you've prayed for yourself to get financial gain - FOR YOUR HOUSE FIRST (the ad says) - you're supposed to give the "prayer rug" to someone else to pray, as well.

All of the verbiage instills subtle fears and threats that if the (unknowing and unwise) person doesn't use the "prayer rug" for its intended purpose and donate to the church and give the "prayer rug" to someone else in a reasonable amount of time, their prayers will not be answered.

It disturbs me when people prey upon the prayers of those who follow in blind faith. I'm glad we got this mail, so that we could shred it with glee.
wwcitizen: (Thumbs Up)
I may not like the man, but he's done something good and right and just!

************************************************************************
Jan 6, 2010:

Governor Christie signed the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, America’s toughest anti-bullying law

By enacting a totally new paradigm to protect vulnerable students, New Jersey sets a new course for the nation.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ANTI-BULLYING BILL OF RIGHTS:

America's first anti-bullying law that sets statewide deadlines for incidents of bullying to be reported, investigated and resolved.

Under the new law, teachers and other school personnel must report incidents of bullying to principals on the same day as a bullying incident. An investigation of the bullying must begin within one school day. A school must complete its investigation of bullying within 10 school days, after which there must be a resolution of the situation.

America's first anti-bullying law to provide for an anti-bullying coordinator in every district, and an anti-bullying specialist in every school to lead an anti-bullying team that also includes the principal, a teacher and a parent.

America's first anti-bullying law to grade every school on how well it is countering bullying – and to require that every school post its grade on the home page of its website. Also on the home page of its website, every school must post contact information for its anti-bullying specialist.

America's first anti-bullying law to ensure quality control in anti-bullying training by requiring the involvement of experts from academia and the not-for-profit sector.

America's first anti-bullying law to provide training to teachers in suicide prevention specifically with regard to students from communities at high risk for suicide.

America's first anti-bullying law to apply not only to students in grades K-12, but also to higher education. Public universities in New Jersey will have to distribute their anti-bullying policies to all students within seven days of the start of the fall semester.

The law applies to extracurricular school-related settings, such as cyber-bullying, school buses, school-sponsored functions and to bullying off school grounds that carries over into school.

The law requires a school to notify the parents of all students involved in an incident, including the parents of the bully and the bullied student, and offers counseling and intervention services.

The law mandates year-round anti-bullying instruction appropriate to each grade, and an annual Week of Respect in every school that will feature anti-bullying programming.

The law applies to all bullied students. In addition to protecting students based on the categories of actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression, the law has clear language protecting students bullied for any other reason.
wwcitizen: (NJ Quarter)

I got an email from my brother last week, which inspired me to respond. Initially, because my knee-jerk responses don't always convey clearly what I mean, I hadn't responded.  But I'm really glad I went ahead and addressed some of his points.  I also inserted support links within this "article".  I have also changed some of my brother's initial questions and/or statements because, well, it just sounds and flows better. My youngest sister also mentioned to me that most of my Facebook posts relate to gay topics and equal rights, which is true. I found this whole exercise beneficial to understanding more thoroughly elements about our current political, economic, social, and legal stance.

Q: Explain why Obama won't make his birth certificate available for review [Many believe that what was published has not been verified - despite what people may believe]?

A: Obama, the State of Hawaii, and the US government have provided a copy of the original birth certificate online.  The US Library of Congress put the copy online simply because they were expending too much time and money on sending out 1000s of copies to people, like my brother, who want to see the "actual" birth certificate.  Interestingly enough, McCain wasn't born actually IN the US, rather in US-controlled territory. BUT, in McCain's case, because his parents were American, he's still an American-born citizen. Same rules apply to Obama; Obama's mother is an American citizen.

How does one verify a birth certificate beyond the notarized copy from the county courthouse. In order to get a US passport or (in most states) a driver's license, the notarized copy of the original is sufficient; shouldn't we trust that the document provided is, in fact, the verified copy? My birth certificate doesn't have my little foot prints on it, and I can get a notarized copy of mine from Raleigh, NC, where I wasn't born.

Q: Why won't he make his Harvard transcript available for review?

A: He graduated Cum Laude from Harvard. 'Nuff said. Not everyone in the Senate or House can say that.  You cannot make that kind of claim without Harvard coming after you to make sure it's correctly represented.

Q: Why can’t we see his school records from Indonesia?

A: Matthew (my partner) can't get property records of property he owns from Italy! You try getting school records from Indonesia. However, in order for Obama to have been admitted to any US college, he would have had to provide those records to the school for admission. <a href=" http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/applications/transfer_admin-finaid.php " target="_blank">Columbia requires each transfer student</a> to provide more than you're demanding our president provide you. That should really and truly be end of story.

Q: One does not have to be an American-born person to run for any office except President!

A: Exactly; i.e. Barack Obama is an American-born president. Do [the birthers] seriously think that Dick Cheney (let alone Bush) would have allowed Obama to even run for president if Obama didn't have his papers in order? Seriously?  Also, as pointed out before, whether the birthers like it or not, his mother is a US Citizen; therefore, he's a US-born citizen.

It is not my job (even as an American) to pull all this stuff together, but links I listed above should suffice. I've never seen other presidents' school records made as public as folks expect this president to do. I find it interesting that a Wall Street Journal article in 2008 says about his time at Columbia, "Maybe that's what most pains a young memoirist and an ambitious politician who strains to make his life anything but unremarkable."

Thing is, Barack Hussein Obama is our president. And that's that. There's no going back.

Q: This individual who is occupying the White House is the most incompetent, poorly prepared, inadequately equipped, narcissistic fraud that has been so unfortunately elected to the office.  The only good thing about this socialist being there is that now Jimmy Carter is no longer the country’s worst president.

A: I happen to believe that Jimmy Carter (in my limited memory of his "reign of terror on the nation" - also a Nobel Peace Prize Winner - I was 10 years old when he was in power) was a good president. He was a strong supporter of human rights, created the Departments of Energy and Education, and established a national energy policy. That energy policy included conservation, price control, and new technology. He also returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, which is still lauded as a massive accomplishment.

I find it interesting that you call Obama a socialist because on the books and publicly, he's a member of the Democratic Party.  I suppose you chose "socialist" because he has been presented as advocating state ownership of industry, which is totally untrue.

Our president (and his people) bailed out the auto industry (yes, financially) when they needed it, but it was in no way meant to make the auto industry state-owned.  The auto industry is paying back the loans given to them.  If Obama had NOT bailed them out financially, the auto industry would have collapsed. That would have had a major ripple effect throughout the US economy and industries, one which we cannot even begin to imagine. Obama in that regard staved off a worse economic depression than Dad lived through.

If one deems Obama a socialist because he supports social and economic equality (so that more than the current 2% of our population hold the wealth in the country and so that we have a stronger middle class - as in the 50s), and because he supports bi-partisan involvement in decision making (i.e. collective decision-making), then maybe you're onto something! But, don't forget to point out in the same breath that Republicans during the Bush era were becoming more and more tyrannical, and
dominionist in their workings. Bush made sure (via the US PATRIOT Act of 2001) that law enforcement agencies were able to invade US citizens' privacy (phone tapping without announcement made legal - VERY Big Brother and Big Government), for which there is no evidence that I can find these expansions have proven successful in bringing a terrorist to justice in our country. More and more, Republicans and Tea Partiers (becoming more dominionist) are stating falsely that our forefathers founded this nation upon Christian principles. This country was formed from the colonists because of high, exorbitant taxation from England. The colonists were tired of paying the high taxes - hence, the Tea Party in Boston Harbor, which destroyed highly taxed tea. Columbus in 1492 was hoping to find trade routes to India that went quicker (business prospect) than going across the continent of Asia; he wasn't expecting to find a place to start a Christian nation! 

Q: Any black person who voted for him solely because he appears to be black, cast a racist, uneducated vote. Any [other] person who voted for him should be ashamed and many are becoming more and more ashamed as time progresses and they see what he really is.

A: I agree that black voters of Obama basing their vote solely on his heritage and not educating themselves are myopic. In fact, no one should vote for any candidate solely based on their party affiliation, race, creed, or heritage. People casting a vote in this nation should educate themselves and know who and why they're voting for whom they're voting. Once that vote is cast, shame shouldn't be carried solely on who a person voted as president because a president isn't alone in his job; there are thousands of people who make the presidency, policies, our economy, and our nation what it is. A perspective that the president is the end-all-be-all of our nation's direction is myopic and uneducated, too.

Q: I can’t wait until he is sent back to the political cesspool that is Chicago and his absurd health care plan and his exorbitant, spend my money as fast as he can attitude are out of Washington.  He is costing seniors millions in Medicare that he stole to pay for bail outs. Obama promised to end entitlements but instead, allowed them to increase!

A: Right now, I was secured health insurance because of Obama's new health care program; I was informed by the health insurance company that my policy would not be canceled if I have (thank goodness I don't) any pre-existing conditions.  In 4 short years, anyone can have insurance.  Right now, your son can stay on your health insurance policy till he's 26, which will ultimately help him get on his feet before having to take care of himself fully at 18.  I think part of your anger about the health care bill is that you (and I) don't know fully what's in it, and I'm educating myself about it more and more. 

After today, Sep. 23, US females will be able to get breast cancer screenings and everyone cholesterol tests without paying deductibles or co-payments.
"In addition, patients will be able to see obstetricians and pediatricians without getting prior authorizations. Recommended immunizations also must be provided at no cost." To learn more about the health care bill and the new laws around health insurance, check out the following video:

Q: Obama has no clue how to get people working and more people are on the government dole than at any other time in history and he still wants to raise taxes and now he’s wanting to go after people’s 401k programs.

A: The unemployment rates we're now faced with started at the end of Bush's era.  Also, for the most part, the unemployed people have been tapping money they invested. Everyone has money extracted from their monthly paycheck in order to cover Unemployment Insurance!  Why criticize people for taking advantage of something that they paid for?

Obama saved our auto industry from failure (saving jobs).  As a result of the loan to the auto industry, previously closed auto plants are reopening and "
last week, GM announced that it would rehire 483 workers"; i.e. (re)creation of jobs.  A Republican Congressman in TN had the audacity to attend a ceremony at an auto plant and take credit for Obama's financial bail out assistance!  Republicans (without ethics, integrity, or scruples) take credit on a regular basis for things that Obama does right that they did not support.

Baby Boomers (my brother included when he retires) will potentially and most likely bankrupt the Social Security funds, not Obama.  By the sheer numbers of BBs, Social Security will not be able to handle the money that will be gushing from its vaults.  Before my nephew (who is 3 yrs old) is of retirement age, he will most likely see the end of Social Security as we know it.  In fact, there will probably eventually be something much better conceived and implemented by the time Nathaniel retires (thank goodness!). 

Q: Democrats have looked into the backgrounds of Republicans and were not chastised.  Clinton pulled almost 1000 FBI files of political opponents before he was nabbed at it.

A: You're probably right that Democrats were not chastised about peering into current presidents' backgrounds.  The Republicans, in contrast to Democrats, run away from controversy and "bad lighting".  Sharron Angle (R-NV), Jan Brewer (R-AZ "Gov"), Joe Miller (R-AK), Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) are really good examples of this. They ignore the liberal media.  They ignore questions that they don't want to answer.  Jan Brewer to reporters is seen in videos as saying, "OK, thank you for coming everyone!" on the heels of hearing, "What did you mean about the headless bodies in the desert?"  Even though she's a liar and lied to her state for months about "headless bodies in the desert" to substantiate her state's need for immigration restrictions, she turned and walked away instead of addressing her state's concerns.  Sharron Angle actually jogged away from reporters who were from news agencies decidedly not Republican or Tea Party backers.

Q: Don’t get me started on Obama's lack of military understanding.  When it comes to the military, he’s a joke.

No president (even GW Bush) has as extensive knowledge of the military to be able to command the military the way a military leader would. That's why each president has advisers.  Obama has appointed and has relied upon the right people for their jobs to provide him excellent military advice.  If you're talking about the court-martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Any US military personnel who disobeys an order can be legally court-marshaled

I sincerely didn't like Bush.  I hate that Bush and Cheney started wars that helped deplete the surplus that Clinton's era gave us (in FY 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever!!) and drove us into multiple trillion-dollar debt.  "
Under the Clinton-Gore budget, we were on track to pay off the entire publicly held debt ... by 2009."  On the flip side, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush's presidencyUnder Presidents Reagan and Bush, the debt held by the public quadrupled.  Then Clinton fixed it.

Having those feelings toward a bad president doesn't make me less of an American or hate my country.  Hopefully, this post sheds some light on my perspectives as much as your email enlightened - and inspired - me!  I'm really glad I went through this and hopefully someone else will find my work here useful.

wwcitizen: (Airplane Travel)
American Airlines just announced new fees - for front row seats in COACH! There are government subsidies that should be helping out the consumer, but all the subsidies do is help airlines fly empty planes!

Coach was always that place on the plane where the working class folks or normal travelers sat, fell asleep, enjoyed their Diet Coke and peanuts, then got off the plane to their destination. The "good travelers" had very few carry-on luggage and were polite. Sometimes they had reading material and some enjoyed chatting for a bit with their neighbor.

The Business Class was reserved for people whose companies were paying for the flight. Or First Class for those who could afford better seats, but not their own chartered airplanes.

Those days are really gone. The separation between coach class and business fares is getting narrower and narrower. Soon, just to be "done with all the mediocre extra fees for this or that", it'll just be easier to purchase a business class seat and not have the headaches.

Bigger airlines these days figure with all the business travelers, they can charge out the ass. But in reality, it's going to start killing domestic tourist travel. Better yet, the smaller airlines will get ahead. But then, they'll take over the routes of larger, more established airlines, which will fall apart, and the cycle will start again.

There are fees now for: 1) check-in luggage (higher cost if handled at the counter), 2) emergency row seating, 3) carry-on luggage (not all airlines), 4) snacks or food, 5) trip insurance (a policy to protect a trip were it canceled, bags were stolen or a traveler needed emergency assistance), 6) EARLY BOARDING (nope, not the frequent flier membership), and many many more things.

Matt and I have planned (and spent money for) our trip this next week to the NC Outer-banks, so that we only have to take carry-on luggage. Who wants to pay an extra $50 each round-trip for luggage? If we want more leg room, though, that will be roughly $180 extra round-trip for EMERGENCY SEATING. Yes, that would be $230 APIECE on extra fees for a more comfortable flight without the hassle of luggage. The round-trip ticket price for me is $250 and for Matt is $217, which is GREAT. But with the extra fees for this and that, the flight alone to NC would become almost $450!!

For our LA flight a couple of weeks ago, which started out at a "bargain" of $530 round-trip apiece, in actuality we paid $760 apiece - WITHOUT FOOD on the return flight! To LA. No, not to Paris, Aruba, or Cancun (no, those flights were actually cheaper than $760 apiece without extra fees for nonsensical crap).

How do you combat companies that piss you off or take advantage of people? Boycott them (starting to hate that term and process) or sue them? What if you need to get to Raleigh, NC, and the fastest way to get there is via the company you hate or want to boycott? If hundreds or thousands boycott that same company and they go under or nix THAT route, then what? It usually takes years of negotiations and agreements with airports, state governments, and the FAA for a new airline to get a new route or hub in a given city. I guess we're all SOL in a shitty creek without a blooming paddle!! I guess we'll have to straddle our coach seats, buckle in, and bend over. Makes for having an otherwise nice, relaxing vacation very frustrating from the get-go!

Here is a video of a "House hearing [that] addresses growing concern for the numerous fees air travelers are forced to pay." - from CNN

wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
We've been boycotting Sonoma County, CA, for months by not buying wines from there (not easy to do!) because of the mistreatment of an elderly gay couple. The court case was finally settled on July 25th with pretty good results, but the entire outcome for the couple (who'd been together for 20+ years) was so sad. Not sure if our and others' boycott of Sonoma County products was helpful in the process, but we like to think it was. We are lifting our boycott of Sonoma County wines due to the fruitful outcome of the settlement. BTW, "the settlement also prohibits the public guardian's office from moving people against their will."

However, now Target is supporting opponents of the LGBT Community and specifically opponents of gay marriage, which, as everyone that knows me knows we support same-sex marriage (the terminology is unimportant, but the equal civil rights and federal & state benefits are important). We'll be boycotting Target now.

The substance of the issues that sprung up in Sonoma represent the need for same-sex marriages or civil unions (whatever they end up being called) across the country. A business that supports candidates that oppose same-sex marriage should not be financially supported by the LGBT community.

Out of the 308 million Americans estimated by the 2010 census bureau, there are roughly 5 million Americans (using 1.5% as based on earlier estimations) who acknowledge themselves as LGBT. If every one of the 5 million people spends $100 a month at Target, then we are supplying Target with $500 million per month to spend as they like. If, however, we decide to boycott any specific company, like Target, and remove that $500 million we spend with them in a month, we send them a distinct message that we don't like how they're using our money!

Just so companies realize, the US Gay Buying Power is estimated at between $732 and $734 billion for 2010. Wake up people! Money talks!
wwcitizen: (Really Big Things)
"I'm in love with everyone and everything that has happened." (all of a sudden with an Hispanic accent)

"I have found love: God, I love what I do. I love to sing so much. I want to show the world how much I love to sing and how this means to me. To get a second chance - nobody gets second chances. Once in a lifetime [well, Tatiana, that's actually two, unless you're saying that not everybody gets second chances... well, then... true]. I'm ready to sing for you America. Thank you so much."

(Her lips continuing to move because she doesn't know how to stop her own developed tragedy.)

NOBODY - even Sanjaya - got the attention she got - at all - in all the American Idol seasons. Disgusting plea for ratings. For her jettison alone, I'm thankful for Simon on that show; he couldn't stand her.

(A small, sick part of me wanted to see her go on, so I could follow the train wreck of herself - to like the top 12 or 11 and THEN get kicked off - even closer to her dreams of traveling the states and getting the acclaim that so many others deserve. But, enough is enough.)
wwcitizen: (Face-Serious)
This is an article that appears in Newsweek (as noted below). My partner and I picked up the magazine after I had read these informative and well-conceived perspectives on the "Gay Marriage" discussion. This article provides good, sound points for all who care to join in on the religious (Christian and possibly Jewish, mostly) perspectives on the discussion (Something went wrong with my original post, so I re-posted - sorry for the extra post).

Our Mutual Joy

Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side.
By Lisa Miller | NEWSWEEK
Published Dec 6, 2008
From the magazine issue dated Dec 15, 2008
Read article )

Extra caveat )
wwcitizen: (Red Rollercoaster)
We're heading to Florida tomorrow to go to Disney World, Sea World, and possibly MGM, if we have the time. A friend of ours mentioned "Jesus Land" that competes with Disney, because different Christian groups consider Disney a work of the devil. WELL, let me tell you...

THIS is unbelievable! There's a "competing" park in Orlando, FL, for Christians called "The Holy Land Experience" (as seen in the trailer of Religulous). Jesus gets crucified there 6 days a week and they have song and dance numbers throughout the park in different locations, along with a robotic-animatronic of Wycliffe translating something and talking.

Check out the "Sword Letter Opener" - it's "an awesome letter opener"!! I, for one, have removed the word "awesome" from my vocabulary resulting from years of spiritual abuse at the hands of people in a previous life (who cling to Christianity as a crutch, but lack all visible signs of the love and acceptance Jesus preached). It makes me cringe each time to hear someone say, "That's awesome!"

And, seriously, I had thought the "Jesusland thong" was the worst thing ever I'd ever seen for sale at Jesusland. But the Ark of the Covenant replica's pretty bad along with the "Widow's Mite" Necklace - "Give this authentic Roman coin necklace ... to people you know who seem to always give their all."

Nope, we're NOT going to spend $35 to visit that blasphemous place; I'd hate to run into Sarah Palin campaigning at the park after just trying to send her packing back to Alaska. YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT THE VIDEO on the home page - watch the WHOLE thing - including the Bellagio-like fountain show - just like Jesus used to perform.

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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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