As I was discussing with my friend, is Obama different than Bill Clinton?

The following article by Gleen Greenward in Salon.com clearly reflects what I think is happening. It is time to un-register myself from being a member of the Democratic party. See here

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What is that saying? Fool me once is your fault, fool me twice is…

art_obama_warren_giI believe enough is enough. I don’t know what President elect Obama is thinking nowadays. Awhile ago, I was a bit skeptical about his message of change. Change to what? I asked. It wasn’t specific at all. But given the climate of the current administration, anything but the Republicans was better. So, what happens?

A look at the selection of the cabinet members shows that he is tilting towards a Center-Right governing mode. Is he thinking that by doing so, he may increase his chances for the next re-election? Whatever. But I have not been happy at how he seems to be leading the country. I don’t see any vision of change, but a return to Bill Clinton’s way of governing. Not that I see anything negative with what President Clinton did.

Anyway, I think I reached the end of my patience when President elect Obama invited evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation. Of all the religious leaders in this country, he decided to invite a minister who opposes any human rights for gay and lesbian people. On that note, I went to Mr. Obama’s website and unsubscribed myself from his list. It looks like he does not need me for further donations.

It is 6PM and do you know what your kid is doing? In Thailand…

Remember when the “Star-Spangled Banner” or “God Save the Queen” anthems were played at the end of a TV broadcast day (yes, when TVs had tubes). Well, those days of nationalistic fevor seem to have gone in our industrialized societies. We reserve the national anthems for gradiator sports, aka American football or British football. But what they do in Thailand? The good old way. Stop and do nothing at 6PM:

My saga with the Live.com cash rebate program

microsoft-signSome of you know that Microsoft, in its effort to gain traffic for its search engine, offers rebates when a customer orders products from participating retailers. Once a purchase is made, the customer waits a while to receive the rebate in his or her account and then has the option of getting a paper check or a credit with PayPal.

The process takes a long time. Live.com makes you wait like two months before you get the rebate credited in your account. Well, I tried the system and purchased a computer from a participating retailer. It seems to work, I got the rebate in my account, and then requested a paper check. Live.com states that it had sent the check.

The problem? I haven’t received the check. So, after two weeks, I sent them an Email, through its webpage, about the issue. Live.com does not provide a phone number. Email is the only way that you can reach them. Anyway, here is what I wrote:

“My cashback summary shows that a $XX cashback check was rewarded on November 7, 2008. It is now December 1, 2008 and I have not received the check.
The $XX was for a purchase I made at J&R Music and Computer World.”

I waited for about two weeks, and this is what I received via Email:

“We apologize for our delay in responding to your issue. After investigating your cashback payment in the amount of $XX, we are showing that it has been paid by paper check. We appreciate your patience and understanding throughout our research process. Based on this resolution, your incident will now be closed. “

What? That was the reason why I emailed originally, that is, I have not received the check. The moral of the story? Don’t bother asking for a paper check if you want to utilize live.com’s cash rebate program. It is better to ask for a credit to your PayPal account.

What to do when you feel you have been ignored

tuero02Living in a county that is predominantly populated by Caucasians, I sometimes feel like I don’t exist. I am sure some of you guys know what I mean. You notice that the sales person is more energetic towards a customer of his or her own kind and then when it is your turn, he or she treats you in a condescending way or you perceive that you don’t actually exist.

I have lived in this county for a long, long time. Even much longer than some of the people who claim to be natives. Still, sometimes when I meet a new acquaintance, he or she asks in a condescending way “when you started living here.” But it would be unthinkable if I would ask that question to them. Perceptions matter and it is with small chit chats like that that one understands that for all the cultural experiments that this country undergoes, it is still a painful road ahead to have a fully multicultural society. I wonder whether that would exist at all, in the present or a nearby future.

But I have decided to do something about this. Ok, some background to start with. A long time ago, I got a lifetime lesson when dealing with a person with disability. You would think that it is easy to see a disability, right? Wrong. In this case, this person has a rare condition that makes him look sideways. So, when I was talking to him, he was looking sideways. I thought he was ignoring me. I felt ashamed when I found that it was a disability.

In the same way, I have started calling out when I feel that I am not treated in an equal manner as others in this county. This was triggered by an incident that happened this week. I was at a store that sells Italian food products. I usually go to this store to buy Panettone for our family. This was a tradition that started in Peru (I guess, Peru has a lot of Italian immigrants). Anyway, I noticed after I entered the store that a young salesperson was given free samples of cheese to potential customers. He gave a sample to a Caucasian lady. I did not think much about it. Then, when I paid for the Panettone, nothing happened. Right after I paid, another Caucasian lady entered the store. He gave her a sample too. Well, at that moment, I felt a bit annoyed. It is as if I did not exist.

So what happened next? Usually, I just ignore things like this. But this time, I started to get more and more annoyed. As I said early, I realized that perceptions matter. As far as this salesperson was concerned, it may be just normal. So, I decided to awaken him. I emailed the store and explained the situation. I did not expect much as an outcome. Well, I got a call from one of the owner’s today. It was nice to hear an apology. Hopefully, the salesperson got better sensitivity training. One just hopes, right?