Archive for November, 2011

Tired of The Same Old Christmas?

Tired of The Same Old Christmas?

I did not write the following. It came to me via email. I simply copied it, cleaned it up a little and decided to pass it on to my readers since I really think the idea makes a lot of sense. As I see it, this is not just a Christmas idea but a good idea for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or any occasion where a gift is appropriate or called for 

I like the idea of spending my money locally, with local merchants. On the downside, it may cost a little more to buy in local shops and have our oil changed by a local garage and buy our tires from a local dealer. But in real terms, how much more does it really cost?

I know that for the last twenty-odd years, I’ve bought my tires from a locally owned tire dealer. I’ve had my oil changed by a local garage and the same mechanic has been doing my mechanical repairs. Until just a couple of years ago, I bought all my prescriptions from a local pharmacy until they sold out to a national chain.

Realistically, I know there are not always local trade persons that can handle our needs and supply our demands for some necessities. When that’s the case, we have to buy where we can get what we need. But every dollar we can spend with locally owned businesses is a dollar that is more likely to directly benefit our local economy. Think about that.

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 The eMail

 “I liked this idea so much I had to share it with you. If everyone did this (not just at Christmas time), we would be providing our own economic stimulus!

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year, and the years to come, could be — should be — different. This year we will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There should no longer be an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands — because there is!
 
It’s simply time to think differently — to think and spend smarter! Who says a gift needs to fit in a box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Use your local newspaper or comic section! It’s not only cheap, it’s smart!
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some sort of health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Many small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you gift certificates. Perhaps someone on your list would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks, this isn’t about big national chains — this is about supporting your LOCAL home town small businesses — businesses which depend on you to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle? With all the work done at a local shop run by the American working guy? Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his computer repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.  How about going to see a play or ballet at local community theater? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip instead.

You see, Christmas no longer needs to be about draining American pockets so that Chinacan build another glittering city. Christmas can, and should now be, about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. This idea could become the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, local business chambers, and TV news departments. This is a revolutionary idea of caring about each other — isn’t that what Christmas is about?”

 

Anonymous     

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Some gift-giving Ideas

 You can find hand-made crafts, wall hangings, posters, poems, books and plans to build toys, cars, engines and repair plumbing on the Internet. You can find self-help books, inspirational books, mysteries, adventure stories and more on the Internet. There are cooking classes, locksmith classes, door repair classes, and degrees and diplomas all on the Internet. Many of those books, instruction manuals and religious books are written and sold by local authors.

 You can buy and send flowers, candy, and gift certificates to local restaurants, hardware stores, kiddy stores and more on the Internet. Many of them right in your own local area.

 So if you’re looking for the new, unique, unusual gift idea or the latest fad; check out the Internet and your local on-line shoppers…

 Make this Christmas a really different and delightful Christmas!

 Note: Please feel free to copy this and forward it to your friends and associates…Or, send them this link: http://www.purejake.com

—Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2011

 And lest I forget; HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS, READERS AND FOLLOWERS! 

 

 

 

LOCKSMITH SCAMS AND SCAMMERS

LOCKSMITH SCAMS AND SCAMMERS

By: Jake Jakubuwski

 

Many folks in this country might seldom ever have the need of a locksmith’s services.

So it’s no wonder that when someone is unlucky enough to lock their keys in their car, or get locked out of their home they can easily find themselves the victim of a rapidly growing number of scammers.

Scammers are people who pose as bona-fide, legitimate locksmiths.

Often they have huge ads in the local Yellow Pages and frequently bear names like Locksmiths, USA, Anywhere Locksmith, 24/7Locksmiths, Emergency Locksmith  and more. If you use your iPhone to find a locksmith on the Internet, their ads often read  “ ———- Locksmith. Serving the ——— area” The name(s) they use is unimportant. Knowing that they are out there waiting for another unsuspecting person to fall prey to their tactics is very, very important.

The tactics they use to fleece you, your neighbors and friends are what make them a menace to the public and give legitimate locksmiths a bad name. 

Often, they use phony local addresses. The addresses they use are often real — those are  just addresses that actually belong to churches, schools, chiropractors, vacant buildings and individuals in order for the scammers to appear to be a well-established, local company.

Think about that. If a scammer told you they’re address was “915 Main Street”, you might know where Main Street is, but would you know if the building at that address was occupied by a locksmith, a luncheonette or a lawyer?

There was one incident recently, in North Carolina, where the scammers actually used the company name AND address of a local, well-established and reputable locksmith company. The scammers literally hijacked that company’s business persona, and customers with their online ad.

One of their favorite ploys is to quote a low service fee for opening a locked auto, home or business. Then when they get to the job site; the price increases tenfold or more. Another ploy, to justify their higher price, is to claim the car or the lock on the front door of a home cannot be picked or manipulated and they’ll have to use a special tool or drill the lock!

Then, if you’re really lucky, they might have a lock to replace the one they drilled. It was a car “opening” probably not. If it was a residential or business door opening, they’ll have a cheap import lock that they’ll swear is “High Security” and sell it to you for $400.00! I use “lucky” in this sense to indicate that you can at least lock your door after the scammer has left.

They might show up in a plain, ordinary and unremarkable automobile rather then a well-lettered and highly visible van. They seldom wear any sort of uniform and are reluctant to produce any type of identification. Too often, you are frustrated and only interested in solving your problem. As a consequence, you may not be as alert to the possibility of a scam as you should be and too late,  find yourself a victim.

They frequently travel in pairs. If you question them, they often become belligerent and threatening. At 2 A.M. or high noon, such behavior can be intimidating and cause you to cave into their outrageous demands. 

What can you do to keep from getting into a situation where you’re at risk of being the victim of a locksmith scam?

Obviously spare keys that are either accessible or that a friend, a neighbor or a family member can bring to you is a very good idea.

Locating and checking out (through the BBB if necessary, or the City Licensing Board) a bona-fide locksmith in your area and putting their number in your cell phone’s speed dial is a good idea. Or you can check out ALOA.org (The Associated Locksmith of America) and find one of their members in your area.

There are usually state locksmith associations that you can contact to find the name and telephone number of one of their members in your area.

Is this a lot of work and preparation for something that might never happen? Sure it is. But how much is your safety and peace of mind worth? 

If you’re out of town — my best suggestion would be to contact the local PD and ask them if they can assist you — or suggest someone who can help you.

If you do happen to call a locksmith and some guy shows up that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck — pay attention to you instincts — and call the cops. It would be better to find out from the local police that the guy/gal was legit then it would be to be a victim of a scam locksmith or worse.

If you still wind up the victim of a locksmith scam, contact your  State Attorney’s Office – Consumers Affairs — and report the incident to them.

To give you an idea of how prevalent this problem is in this country; follow this link, courtesy of:

 The Associated Locksmiths of America

http://www.aloa.org/pdf/pressroom.pdf

 

PLEASE NOTE: This is information that everyone should have. Please copy the PURE JAKE link, in the location bar at the top of the page and forward this to all your friends and acquaintances. Or, paste and copy the entire article. Which ever is easiest for you. Remember: This could well be information that will save someone, you care for, from a problem that they don’t need. So, pass it on…PLEASE!

 

 

 

 

 

When Money Gets in The Way of Reason

When Money Gets in The Way Of Reason

 There are a lot of things that I am not.

 But one thing I am: I am harshly opinionated — to the point of obstinacy — about certain things.

 One of those things is child abuse. I become intensely opinionated — to the point of anger — when some twisted, anally-retentive jerk sexually abuses children.

 I don’t care what the psychology is behind that jerk’s actions. I don’t care if he witnessed his grandmother copulating with a Billy Goat, or his mother turned tricks and used the abuser as a pimp!

 To my way of thinking there are no extenuating circumstances that would, or could, possibly excuse, ameliorate or justifiably diminish the punishment that a person of that ilk should suffer under the law.

 I am not going to tell you what I think should happen to someone who is charged and found guilty of sexually molesting a child  — but I will tell you this: It ain’t pretty and it ain’t very civilized. At least, it’s no more civilized then the abuser’s sick and predatory actions against a child or children.

 Something else I am not…

 I am not a football fan and all of the hoopla surrounding the firing, forced retirement or whatever you want to call it of Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier shows, in my mind that State, like the Catholic Church, was more interested in their public persona then concerned about the damages done to the lives of the victims of a child abuser whether a coach or cleric. In other words they took absolutely no action against the abuser until the spotlight of public opinion shined on a particularly vile type of cockroach within those institutions — a sexual predator that preyed upon children.

I am also not a legal scholar but it seems to me that if a person is aware of the commission of a crime and fails report that crime to the authorities then that person can be considered an accessory after the fact. My understanding is (Depending on the jurisdiction) that in order to be charged as accessory, it must be proven that the individual knew that their action, or inaction, would help the bad guy(s) evade detection, or escape punishment.

Do Paterno and Spanier fit that profile? I don’t know. That’s something the State ofPennsylvaniawill have to decide.

What I do know, or at least from what I have read, is that Sanduskyallegedly committed his crimes over a number of years and probably screwed up a lot of lives. I also believe that it is the victims that need our sympathy, support, counseling and goodwill — not Paterno and Spanier — both of whom had the opportunity to put a stop to Sandusky’s alleged behavior rather then do nothing and hope the problem would go away.

I saw the demonstrations of outrage against Jo Pa’s firing. However, I did not see any demonstrations on behalf of the victims of sexual abuse that Jo Pa was aware of for at least the last ten years. Is there something wrong with my thinking, here?

(NOTE: Between the time I wrote this and now,  there has been a candlelight vigil by students and others at State. That makes me feel somewhat better regarding a community’s concern for the victims of the child abuse.)

Joe Paterno has had a stellar tenure as State’s head coach. And it’s a shame to see a vicious incident, like this, blight that career.

However, I simply have to wonder what would have happened if one of his assistants had reported that one of Joe’s children, or grandchildren, was a victim of a sexually oriented child molester’s activities?  What would Paterno’s reaction have been if he found out that a predator had turned State’s shower room into a gruesome sexual playroom with one of Joe’s progeny the object of the predator’s affections?

In his defense, Patrerno, according to media reports, told the head of the athletic department who told Spanier what had been revealed, by an eyewitness’ (Mike McQueary) account regardingSandusky’s actions. And the wheels of justice simply stopped. No criminal investigation. No punishment. No recriminations. No publicity. On the other side of the scale, Paterno did NOT report the incident to the authorities.

Why?

I think it had to do with money.

College sports are no longer simple, competitive, games played school against school. They are major public spectacles that cost millions to produce and bring in more millions in donations and “fees” to the top schools.

State’s football team was (and maybe will still be) a cash cow for State. I don’t know how large a chuck of cash State’s alumni contribute to the school each year but I’d be willing to bet that without their “win” record in the field and the glittering public persona of the team, those contributions would be a whole lot less.

That persona has quickly been tarnished by a scandal.

If Paterno and Spanier are shown to have, by omission or commission, covered up the alleged child abuse bySandusky, or anyone else, then they deserve whatever punishment they may be given.

IfSanduskyis found guilty of the charges pending against him then there is, in my opinion, no punishment severe enough to mend the broken lives and minds he has been responsible for shredding. And by extension, or as a result of any actions brought by the State of Pennsylvania against any principals involved in the “cover up”;  those individuals should be punished too — even when the actions of those responsible for the cover up might hurt the image, and cash flow, of a major university…

During the coming months and years, there will be better minds than mine that will argue both sides of this issue in court and out. But ifSanduskyis proven guilty — I believe that State’s athletic department also bears a proportionate share of the guilt.

It would be nice to find out that I am wrong on all accounts. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my opinion — there is no excuse for a sexual predator not being “turned in” to the police for ten years, or more, after the abuse was supposed to have occurred.