Toxicity proxy for NRA – First National Bank of Omaha, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz Cut Ties With the NRA

Friday, 23 February, 2018

Seems like an interesting proxy for the toxicity of National Rifle Association (NRA)? Can this perhaps be the end of the beginning for the NRA? Time will tell.

CNBC, “First National Bank of Omaha and car rental company Enterprise bail on NRA after customer outcry

Car rental company Enterprise and First National Bank of Omaha have severed their relationship with the National Rifle Association.

First National Bank of Omaha said Thursdsay it will not renew a contract to issue its NRA-branded Visa credit card.

“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a bank spokesperson told CNBC. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”

The website advertising the card disappeared on Wednesday, less than one day after advocacy group ThinkProgress reported the bank’s support of the pro-gun lobby. The bank and car rental company were used by the NRA to promote its membership through discounts and bonus deals.

CNN, “First National Bank of Omaha will stop issuing NRA Visa card

AdWeek (Brand Marketing), “A Major Bank and 3 Car Rental Companies Cut Ties With the NRA – First National Bank of Omaha and Enterprise Holdings have ended their programs

I LOVE Norman Rockwell and you can’t be more America than NR! This play on a famous painting really shows how ridiculous the idea of arming teachers is!

20180223 NRA x Norman Rockwell

2018 Feb 23, 2:25pm update: WaPo “#BoycottNRA: Hertz is the latest company to cut ties with gun lobby as movement gains steam

Hertz Tweet: “We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA’s rental car discount program with Hertz.

MetLife Tweet: “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA.

Symantec Tweet: “Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association.

Avis tweet: “… effective March 26, Avis and Budget will no longer provide the NRA member discount.~Susan

2018 Feb 25 Update: WaPo has a great article with detailed timeline of the falling of the dominos, “NRA lashes out at boycott movement as United, Delta and other corporations cut ties

Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United airlines on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.

But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days. […]

First National Bank of Omaha, one of the largest private U.S. banks, may have been the first to respond publicly to the boycott calls. The bank had previously advertised the “Official Credit Card of the NRA,” according to the Omaha World-Herald — a Visa card with 5 percent back on gas and sporting good purchases.

2018 Feb 25 update: CNN, “Opinion: The NRA’s worst nightmare is here

2018 Feb 28 update: CBC, “Walmart, Dick’s restrict gun sales as corporate America does what Congress hasn’t – Relatives of mass-shooting victims encouraged by Dick’s decision to stop selling assault-style rifles

xxx

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For the record & annotated: Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’ (updated to include other students)

Saturday, 17 February, 2018

2018 March 24 update: I’m so inspired by the students who spoke today at  #MarchForOurLives in DC today! Live blog reporting by UK Guardian, “March for Our Lives: hundreds of thousands demand end to gun violence – live

Watch live: March for Our Lives

Video and transcript of Emma González’s short speech.

“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with corrections near the end of the speech.]

****

What a powerful speech from Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School! This is the most powerful speech I’ve heard on #GunControl ever. (wiki page on the shooting)

For the record. (with full 12 minutes video from CNN) “Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’

Florida student to NRA and Trump: ‘We call BS’

Transcript from CNN.

“Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, addressed a gun control rally on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, days after a gunman entered her school in nearby Parkland and killed 17 people.

Below is a full transcript of her speech: [K: emphasis added]
We haven’t already had a moment of silence in the House of Representatives, so I would like to have another one. Thank you.
Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not.
We certainly do not understand why it should be harder to make plans with friends on weekends than to buy an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. In Florida, to buy a gun you do not need a permit, you do not need a gun license, and once you buy it you do not need to register it. You do not need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun. You can buy as many guns as you want at one time.
I read something very powerful to me today. It was from the point of view of a teacher. And I quote: When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live. All I hear is mine, mine, mine, mine.
Instead of worrying about our AP Gov chapter 16 test, we have to be studying our notes to make sure that our arguments based on politics and political history are watertight. The students at this school have been having debates on guns for what feels like our entire lives. AP Gov had about three debates this year. Some discussions on the subject even occurred during the shooting while students were hiding in the closets. [K: Wow!] The people involved right now, those who were there, those posting, those tweeting, those doing interviews and talking to people, are being listened to for what feels like the very first time on this topic that has come up over 1,000 times in the past four years alone.
I found out today there’s a website shootingtracker.com. Nothing in the title suggests that it is exclusively tracking the USA’s shootings and yet does it need to address that? Because Australia had one mass shooting in 1999 in Port Arthur (and after the) massacre introduced gun safety, and it hasn’t had one since. Japan has never had a mass shooting. Canada has had three and the UK had one and they both introduced gun control and yet here we are, with websites dedicated to reporting these tragedies so that they can be formulated into statistics for your convenience.
I watched an interview this morning and noticed that one of the questions was, do you think your children will have to go through other school shooter drills? And our response is that our neighbors will not have to go through other school shooter drills. When we’ve had our say with the government — and maybe the adults have gotten used to saying ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it’s time to start doing something. [K: So eloquent]
We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting. [K: Godspeed in this challenging journey!] Just like Tinker v. Des Moines [K: US Supreme Court 1969 decision], we are going to change the law. That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it’s going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most of all the students. [K: Godspeed on this again!] The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the student now suffering PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters would not leave us alone, hovering over the school for 24 hours a day. [K: This is just terrible!]
There is one tweet I would like to call attention to. So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again. We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. [K: What a painful moment to listen to this part.] Those talking about Read the rest of this entry »


J.K. Rowling’s writing advices

Tuesday, 30 January, 2018

Keeping track of these inspiring writing advices by the very awesome J.K. Rowling. So cool that Rowling would reach out to people she doesn’t know at all.

Mashable, (2018/01/27) “11 times J.K. Rowling tweeted awesome writing advice

Love these tweets: 20171112 “Don’t write me. Write like you. Nobody else can do that. Finish that book x”

20150815 “Don’t you dare let their laughter extinguish your ambition. Turn it into fuel! Big hugs from one writer to another x

20150815 “Do what I did: pretend you want to do something else and write on the sly until you’re free to do whatever you want!

20180122, “When rereading last week’s work, the trick is to stop for a biscuit just before your blood sugar levels drop to ‘every single word of this is worthless.’

20160325, “I pinned my 1st rejection letter to my kitchen wall because it gave me something in common with all my fave writers!

20160325, “By popular request, 2 of @RGalbrath’s rejection letters! (For inspiration, not revenge, so I’ve removed signatures.)

20160325, “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen.

Read this tweet chain in full: “10. The time she replied to this tweet about the importance of completing a writing project.

Mashable, (2018/01/30) “J.K. Rowling revealed how she plans her books on Twitter. Take notes, people.

2018/02/01 Update: Add this to my list of Quotes I Love!

20171112 “Don’t write me. Write like you. Nobody else can do that. Finish that book x”


(with video) Supreme Court of Canada Delta v Lukács 6-3 win interview with Passenger Rights Advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs

Friday, 19 January, 2018

Supreme Court of Canada Delta v Lukács 6-3 win interview with Passenger Rights Advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs

Other news report from today:

CBC News, “Supreme Court orders 2nd look at complaint about airline bumping obese passengers – Canadian Transportation Agency had refused to investigate 2014 Gabor Lukacs’s complaint because he isn’t obese

The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to take another look at a complaint about how Delta Air Lines deals with obese passengers.

iPolitics, “SCC bounces complaint about airline obesity policy back to federal agency

For Lukacs, the victory is bittersweet because of a clause in the new proposed passengers’ bill of rights currently sitting with a Senate committee. Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s bill, C-49, specifically prohibits anyone but “a person adversely affected” from filing a complaint about an airline with the CTA.

Lukacs feels the clause frustrates the work of public interest advocates like himself. He has acquired detailed knowledge of airline regulations and doesn’t charge passengers for his work on their behalf. Of course, those passengers will be free to hire lawyers — but the cost might be a deterrent for them.

“Today we have won the battle, but the fight is far from over,” Lukacs said this morning from his home in Halifax.

“The Canadian Transportation Agency and the airlines would just love to shut the door to public interest advocates, but the Supreme Court of Canada has said no, that’s not what the purpose of the law is,” he said.

National Post, “Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled 6-3

Previous related news reporting by this reporter:


Passenger Rights Advocate interview re Supreme Court of Nova Scotia appeal of Air Canada denied boarding Small Claim Court case

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Here is my video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, re Supreme Court of Nova Scotia appeal of Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia decision (Paine et al. v. Air Canada – SCCH No. 460569).

Dr Gabor Lukacs interview re Supreme Court of N.S. appeal of Small Claims Court decision

Ref: Jan 15th, 2018 CBC News report of this story “Judge reserves decision in Air Canada case involving compensation for missed flight – ‘Air Canada cannot avoid its obligation to pay,’ says passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs


The catch CBC & CTV missed: Loblaws $25 “gift” card/hush money for bread price-fixing

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018

The following three news reports cover various aspect of the Loblaws $25 “gift” card but missed an important catch that I want to discuss in this article.

  1. CBC News, “Loblaws $25 gift card registration now open, but there’s a catch – Signing up for gift card doesn’t preclude participating in class actions, but any payout would be deducted
  2. CTV News, “The catch: What Loblaw wants for its $25 gift card
  3. Huffington Post, “Take Loblaw’s Hush Money, But Don’t Keep Quiet – The bread price-fixing scheme is a moment when the curtain is pulled back and we get a peek into how things really work.

In short, the “catch” as others and CBC reported, “Signing up for gift card (and getting that $25) doesn’t preclude participating in class actions, but any payout would be deducted“.

The catch that is missed at least by CBC, CTV, and even Huffington Post is that as millions of Canadian adults apply for the gift cards is the “Retention and Cross-border Transfer” clause in the “Program Privacy Policy“. The “missed catch” is why should millions of Canadians subject our private and confidential information including

a) Full name
b) Date of Birth
c) Address
d) Home phone number,
e) Mobile phone number, and
f) email address

to courts of foreign countries including El Salvador or other random countries we don’t even know! When we are talking about millions of Canadians’ private and confidential data potentially being “stored, accessed, or used in a country outside of Canada “!! Why shouldn’t our data be treated with more care/respect and be stored in Canada and Canada alone?!

Don’t trust my words blindly. Visit the “Program Privacy Policy” link on the registration page, you will see (emphasis added):

“Program Privacy Policy
[…]
5. Retention and Cross-border Transfer
Personal Information may be stored, accessed, or used in a country outside of Canada by Loblaw, the Program Administrator, Blackhawk and/ or Peoples, or by service providers engaged by any of them, for any of the purposes identified in Section 4 above including the United States and El Salvador. Where Personal Information is located outside of Canada, it is subject to the laws of that jurisdiction which may differ from those in your jurisdiction and any Personal Information transferred to another jurisdiction will be subject to law enforcement and national security authorities in that jurisdiction.”

Canadians may want to question and challenge Loblaws’ Program Privacy Policy. by calling Loblaws and ask them directly or even ask our elected MPs and try to hold our government and the Competition Bureau accountable.

20180109 Loblaws price-fixing - program_privacy_policy - Screen Shot

Loblaws price-fixing – program_privacy_policy – Screen Shot

P.S. The Huffington Post, “Take Loblaw’s Hush Money, But Don’t Keep Quiet” raised some good points. (emphasis added) Read the rest of this entry »


Molly’s Game – insightful interviews, TIFF Q&A, and trailer

Sunday, 7 January, 2018

I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game (starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera). Love how Sorkin saw and got more out of Molly Bloom‘s stories than just those in her book “Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World”. (note: this Vanity Fair article is worth reading, “Inside the Viper Room: Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Poker Game“) Here is a trailer and then a ton of in-depth interviews, TIFF Q&A, and other insightful clips that I have or plan to watch. Enjoy!

MOLLY’S GAME – OFFICIAL TRAILER [HD]

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin

DP/30: Molly’s Game, Jessica Chastain

DP/30 Abbreviated Chat: Molly’s Game, Idris Elba

Molly’s Game – TIFF World Premiere Q&A – Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Chastain Read the rest of this entry »


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