START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Jan 20, 2008
Focus: Business
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Tips   for Handling Telemarketers

Three   Little Words That Work !!

(1)The  three little words  are:
'Hold   On, Please...'

Saying   this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of  hanging-up  immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much  more  time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.  

Then when  you eventually hear the phone company's  'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know  it's time to go back and hang up  your handset, which has efficiently  completed its task.

These   three little words will  help  eliminate telephone  soliciting.

(2)  Do you ever get those annoying phone calls  with no one on the other end?  

This is a   telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and  records the  time of day when a person answers the phone.  

This  technique is used to determine the best time of day  for a 'real' sales  person to call back and get someone at home.  

What you  can do after answering, if you notice there is no  one there, is to  immediately start hitting your #  button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as  quickly as  possible This  confuses the machine that  dialed the call and it kicks your number out of  their system. Gosh,  what a shame not to have your name in their system any  longer !!!  

(3)   Junk Mail Help:
When you  get 'ads' enclosed with your phone or utility  bill, return these 'ads'  with your payment. Let the sending  companies throw their own junk mail  away.

When you  get  those 're-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit   cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the  return  envelope.

Most of  these come with postage-paid  return envelopes, right? It costs them more  than the regular 41  cents postage 'IF' and when they receive them back.  

It costs   them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents   before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that  case,  why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in  these cool  little, postage-paid return envelopes.  

One   of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an   ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza  coupon  to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then  just send them  their blank application back!
If you  want  to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you   send them.

You can  even send the envelope back empty if  you want to just to keep them  guessing! It still costs them 41  cents.

The banks  and credit card companies are currently  getting a lot of their own junk  back in the mail, but folks, we need  to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them  know what it's like to get lots of  junk mail, and best of all they're  paying for it...Twice!  

Let's  help keep our postal service busy since they are  saying that e-mail is  cutting into their business profits, and  that's why they need to increase  postage costs again You get the  idea !

If enough  people follow these tips, it will work ----  I have been doing this for  years, and I get very little junk mail  anymore.

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Posted: Jan 20, 2008 7:42pm
Jun 13, 2007
Name: Greg and Kaitlyn
Type: Tribute (for the living)
To Honor: Individual(s)
Location: , United States

'I'm glad they'll have each other for this next step'

Brother and sister who share rare genetic condition to share alternative health-care treatment experience

Originally published — 7:23 p.m., June 8, 2007
Updated — 10:50 p.m., June 8, 2007

Editors note: Recent Gulf Coast High School graduate Gregory Lang has battled cancer since he was 3 years old. In February, doctors said Greg had about six months to live. Greg, his sister, Kaitlyn, and their late father, Gregory Weber Sr., suffer from a rare genetic condition, Li- Fraumeni syndrome, causing recurring cancer. The Naples Daily News is following his continuing story.

Gregory and Kaitlyn Lang are trading their childhoods for a chance at adulthood.

They will say farewell to typical teenage fare. Goodbye burgers, tacos and pizza. No more ice cream, cake or cookies.

The pair plans to forgo all temptation — meat, dairy, bread — for the rest of their lives.

Starting Sunday, they will go cold turkey — without the turkey.

Greg, 18, will make the trip to Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach out of necessity, to prolong his life with cancer past doctors’ grim prognosis.

His sister, 16-year-old Kaitlyn, who battled leukemia as a child, will adopt Hippocrates’ raw vegan eating program in hopes of never needing to fight again.

They share a common goal: to make their lives of strenuous sacrifice as long as possible. And for the next three weeks, they’ll share a room, a schedule and, maybe, some inspiration.

"This is a huge step for me, as a mom, because I’ve never left either one of their sides," Ann Lang said. "But I keep focusing on the end result, and I’m so proud of them.

"They need to do this for themselves. My holding their hands can’t help them anymore."

Greg’s necessity

The alternative health-care center is nutritional boot camp. For three weeks, Kaitlyn and Greg will learn to dismiss their teenage cravings through a rigorous schedule of seminars, food preparation courses, workouts and meditation periods.

If the program is successful, Greg’s cancer could be reduced to a manageable state, increasing his life expectancy by months, years, or even decades.

If it’s not, Greg said, nothing, not even hope, will be lost.

"It won’t be a waste of time," Greg explained, his smooth, baby face stony with determination. "If it doesn’t work, for some reason, I’ll know I tried my best with that option, and I’ll have to try something else."

"That’s my baby," Ann said, beaming. "Always optimistic."

After receiving a terminal diagnosis in February, Greg sprung to action, weeding through dozens of options as stories of possible solutions poured in from generous strangers.

As the fatigue and back pain grew, from expanding cancer spots on his pelvis, femur and spine, Greg continued to balk at the idea of more chemotherapy. Previous chemotherapy treatments made Greg sick, and did little to improve his outlook.

The addition of chemotherapy chemicals to Greg’s already fragile body could destroy his immune system, rather than repair it.

"Chemo didn’t work the first time, and doing it now would be the same," he said. "Chemo is a poison. It doesn’t just kill the bad stuff, it kills the good stuff, too."

Greg weighed his options, and settled on the somewhat obscure Hippocrates program, which he learned about when a stranger sent information to Greg’s Gulf Coast High School principal.

"It just makes the most sense," he said. "It can’t hurt me at all. It can only help."

By weeding out all preservatives from his diet, doctors at Hippocrates hope to cleanse Greg’s body, boosting his immune system as he battles his disease. Adding an exercise routine will increase Greg’s energy levels, and hopefully his waning appetite.

"My goal is to help improve my situation," he explained. "I want to have some more time, as much time as possible, and improve the quality of that time.

"I don’t think it’s going to be difficult to make the change, because I know it’s how it has to be."

Kaitlyn’s choice

As her brother watched, Kaitlyn spent this week gorging herself on taboo foods: meatloaf, Chick-Fil-A, pasta.

"It’s so funny to see their two different personalities," Ann laughed. "Greg wants to stop eating those things now, because he figures, ‘Why bother?’ and Kaitlyn wants all she can get."

"I just want to keep going with it," Kaitlyn reasoned. "I never want to eat meat again, so I’m getting all I can now."

Unlike Greg, Kaitlyn had a difficult time deciding whether she would visit Hippocrates and adopt the fruit and veggie life plan.

Kaitlyn suffers from the same genetic condition as her brother, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, turning the possibility of recurring cancer almost into a certainty. Because she is currently healthy, it may be more of a challenge for Kaitlyn to stay motivated.

"Mine’s a self-choice. He kind of has to do it," she said, motioning to Greg. "It’ll be tough, but I really want this, so I guess that will be my inspiration."

By choosing the responsibility of maintaining the stringent plan, the Gulf Coast 10th-grader is sacrificing her youth sooner than her brother, who graduated last month.

During her bout with leukemia at age 8, Kaitlyn put on extra weight, from the steroids she was forced to take. Dropping the few unwanted pounds will be the icing on the cake she can no longer eat.

"It’ll be hard, because I don’t want to give up eating the things my friends eat," she said. "I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, fighting cancer, and I want to finish what I’ve started."

Lifestyle overhaul

The Hippocrates plan can’t be called a "diet." It’s a far cry from the popular Atkins or South Beach diets.

Adoption of the vegan eating regiment is nothing short of a lifestyle overhaul.

"You can’t go back," Kaitlyn said. "If you were to start eating meat or preservatives again right away, you would get sick."

"It’s going to be life-changing, like having a baby," Ann explained, as her children, and Greg’s 16-year-old girlfriend, Brianna Hanson, laughed at the analogy.

"Well, it is!" she cried out, hushing them. "It’s going to be completely different from everything you’ve ever known."

Ann, the kids’ adopted father, Tim Lang, and Brianna admitted they will be forced to make some big changes in compliance with Greg and Kaitlyn’s new lifestyle.

"I don’t think I’ll have a choice," Brianna giggled. "It’s going to be hard for (Greg and Kaitlyn), but it’s going to be really good for them."

"I think I’m going to learn from the kids," Ann seconded. "In time, we’ll ease into it, just like any other change."

Though they’ll be shirking their teenage eating habits, Greg and Kaitlyn won’t leave their childhoods completely behind. The twosome have already conspired to rig their wireless laptop computers so they can watch television while they are away.

"I think this will be a great re-bonding for them, without any outside clutter," Ann said, rolling her eyes as the restless teens battled for room on the family’s leather couch.

"They’ve gone through so much together in their lives. I’m glad they’ll have each other for this next step."

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Posted: Jun 13, 2007 12:26am
Dec 1, 2006
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

According to the Australian Association for Humane Research, approximately 4 million animals are used in experiments each year. By donating to medical charities, you may be unwittingly supporting vivisection. The Australian Association for Humane Research publishes
the Humane Charities List, which lets you know which health and medical charities DON'T experiment on animals. Charities that get the
thumbs up include Variety Children's Charity and the Fred Hollows Foundation. You can download the list at
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Posted: Dec 1, 2006 6:40am
Nov 16, 2006
Focus: Consumer Rights
Action Request: Read
Location: United States
i think the idea is very good. Of course, it will take them forever to figure out what is healthy or not, but health foodstores should use this method.

The Package May Say Healthy, but This Grocer Begs to Differ

by Andrew MartinThe New York Times
November 6th, 2006

For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart.

But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead.

The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.

These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar). Whole milk? Too much fat — no stars. Predictably, most fruits and vegetables did earn three stars, as did things like salmon and Post Grape-Nuts cereal.

At a time when more and more products are being marketed as healthy, the fact that so many items seemed to flunk Hannaford’s inspection raises questions about the integrity of the nutrition claims, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration — or possibly about whether Hannaford made its standards too prissy or draconian. Either way, the results do seem to confirm the nagging feeling that the benefits promoted by many products have a lot more to do with marketing than nutrition.

Furthermore, the rating system, introduced in September, puts the grocery store in the awkward position of judging the very products it is trying to sell, not to mention the companies that supply the foods. In fact, most of Hannaford’s own store-branded products did not get stars.

Hannaford says it is not trying to be preachy or to issue a yes-or-no checklist, just to offer guidance to shoppers who want it — and if the average consumer’s reliance on the United States Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid system is any yardstick, many do not. Furthermore, the company said, there is a place for no-star foods in every balanced diet.

“We are saying there are no bad foods,” said Caren Epstein, a Hannaford spokeswoman. “This is a good, better and best system.”

Food manufacturers, she said, were apprehensive at first but relaxed when they learned that neither they nor their products would be penalized. “The people who represented salty snacks and cookies understood that they weren’t going to get any stars,” Ms. Epstein said.

Hannaford’s nutritionists acknowledge that their system is more stringent than the guidelines used by the F.D.A. The food agency sets standards that food manufacturers must use when they define a product as, say, low in fat or high in fiber, and companies may use those designations even if the product is loaded with less desirable ingredients. Hannaford’s panelists said their formula was more balanced, taking into account all the positives and negatives.

The store chain, with 158 supermarkets in five states, is believed to be the first grocery retailer to have developed such a comprehensive assessment program, and it is trying to have its food-rating algorithm patented.

Not surprising, the food industry still is not entirely happy, and it disputes Hannaford’s conclusions.

“We don’t like the idea that there are good and bad foods out there, and these sort of arbitrary rating systems,” said John Faulkner, director of brand communication at the Campbell Soup Company. The Healthy Request line of soup, he said, was “aligned with the government definition of what healthy is.”

Similarly, a spokeswoman for ConAgra Foods, Stephanie Childs, said that her company would like to know how Hannaford concluded that many items in its Healthy Choice line did not merit any stars.

“This is surprising to us,” Ms. Childs said. Healthy Choice, which offers a range of items from frozen meals to pasta sauces and deli meats, “has to use F.D.A.’s very stringent requirements for what is healthy.”

Admirers of Guiding Stars say the ratings illustrate how nutrition claims on packages can mislead consumers even if they are technically true. Many packages trumpet the benefits of a few attributes — high fiber, for instance, or no trans fats — while ignoring negatives like too much sodium, they said.

“You look at a General Mills product and it looks like the bee’s knees, but it may be nutritionally flawed,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington. “It may be high in sugar even though it has fiber in it.”

Many products that are marketed as healthy received zero stars from Hannaford because they contain too much salt or sugar or not enough nutrients, said Lisa A. Sutherland, an assistant professor of pediatrics and a nutrition scientist at Dartmouth Medical School who was part of the advisory panel that developed Hannaford’s formula.

V8, for instance, which says it has “essential antioxidants” and is “vitamin rich,” is “like drinking a vitamin with a lot of salt on it,” she said. Ms. Sutherland said that the F.D.A.’s guidelines for labeling, including its definition of “healthy,” were simply too lenient. Even the low-sodium version of V8 got no stars under the Hannaford system.

The F.D.A., for its part, points to its specific requirements for foods that make health claims as well as their labels. It also acknowledges that its policing abilities go only so far.

“The thing is, a lot of claims we see out there are puffery,” said Joseph R. Baca, director of the office of compliance at the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “But they don’t get to the point where we can call them fake or misleading.”

Although Hannaford’s star ratings are posted on the same shelf tags that display prices, the chain has not changed the way it shelves products or markets them. This may have kept food manufacturers from rebelling, but it has not stopped them from questioning whether Hannaford is qualified to be the arbiter of healthiness.

“You end up with a lot of consumer confusion,” said Mr. Faulkner of Campbell Soup, which makes V8 as well as Healthy Request. “Do you defer to the Hannaford Brothers? The federal government?”

The label of Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato soup, for instance, boasts that it is 98 percent fat-free, has zero grams of trans fat, low cholesterol and 30 percent less sodium than Campbell’s standard tomato soup. “I don’t know what their system is,” Mr. Faulkner said, referring to Hannaford. “What are they calling too much salt?”

Hannaford, part of Delhaize America, a division of the Delhaize Group in Brussels, started Guiding Stars after customer surveys indicated that people were confused about the nutritional information available to them. Hannaford formed a seven-member advisory panel of nutritionists and a physician to develop a formula for evaluating the healthiness of food.

That algorithm evaluates a 100-calorie serving of each product using only the information that is available on the “nutrition facts” panel and the ingredients list. A product receives credit for vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, but is docked points for trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, added salt and added sugar.

People who choose to adhere closely to the Hannaford ratings will have Spartan diets indeed. Not only did cookies and potato chips rate poorly, but so did whole milk (although skim milk received three stars) and products with nourishing-sounding names like Healthy Choice Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup.

Indeed, the “three star” lunches and snacks recommended on Hannaford’s Web site probably bear little relation to the meals most Americans are accustomed to eating. Hannaford suggests snacking on grapes, apple slices, raisins, plain yogurt, celery sticks, carrots and one to two ounces of popcorn — presumably without salt. A good lunch would be grilled chicken on a bed of spinach with a multigrain roll and an apple.

A. Elizabeth Sloan, president of Sloan Trends, which tracks the food industry, said that food manufacturers deserve credit for reformulating their products to make them healthier. But she said it was unrealistic for the manufacturers to remove all the fat, sugar and salt because nobody would buy the result.

“They have to keep the taste,” she said. “Look at all those super-duper healthy products that are in those healthy food stores. They don’t taste good.”

She added, “Nothing is healthy if you get right down to it, except mother’s milk, and that’s probably got too much fat.”

It is hard to tell whether Hannaford’s nutrition index has had any impact on what consumers are buying. The chain declined to provide sales data.

At a Hannaford store in New Windsor, N.Y., several customers said they had heard about Guiding Stars in radio advertisements or seen it in the store, but that it had not influenced their purchasing. Several shoppers said they did not see the point.

“I buy whatever it is on my list,” said Karen Wilson, 43. “If my kids want Cheerios, I buy them Cheerios and don’t look at the stars.”

LiseAnne Deoul, 34, said she liked the idea of Guiding Stars even though the system had not helped her narrow her choices during a quick stop last week to buy pasta.

“All of it was the same,” she said. “They all had two stars.”

Hannaford officials and members of the advisory panel emphasized that foods with no stars were not meant to be shunned.

“They are not everyday foods,” said Ms. Sutherland. “They are great sometimes foods.”

Nutritionists and food industry analysts said that Hannaford’s findings highlight some unpleasant truths about Americans and their eating patterns. People want to be healthier but do not want to change their behavior, and so marketers have stepped in with products that improve on the originals but still leave something to be desired.

The poor marks doled out by Hannaford show “what happens when an independent group sets the criteria,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University.

“As for health claims, expect to see more and more and more,” she said. “It’s the only thing that sells food these days.”
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Posted: Nov 16, 2006 8:11am
Jun 25, 2006
Type: Tribute (for the living)
To Honor: Individual(s)
Location: , United States
SARASOTA, Fla., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- If you have ever heard of "Super Size Me," the junk food documentary, then get ready for a stunning look at the other side of the dinner table. Scheduled for release this
summer is "Supercharge Me ... 30 Days Raw."
(Logo: )
And we mean "RAW."
"Supercharge Me ... " is a "rawcumentary" -- a film showing what happens when one eats only vegan, raw, organic food -- and nothing else -- for a month. This is the story of a woman who wanted to fulfill a
lifelong dream: to dress up as a Las Vegas showgirl for Halloween. But that dream met reality in the mirror -- and she knew something had to be done.
Her odyssey took her from Sarasota, Florida to San Diego, where she began a 30-day raw food detox program. The regimen was difficult to follow at first because it had little in common with the way she
was accustomed to eating. Raw foodists eliminate from their diet all but uncooked "living" foods. These foods include organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and juices. Some believe raw food to
be more nutritious than cooked foods because the foods' digestive enzymes and nutrients are intact.
Documentary cameras followed this young woman as she interviewed doctors, raw food gurus, celebrities (Ben Vereen and Kathy Sledge) and a variety of other people from around the world who follow the
raw food lifestyle. And the lenses captured her daily determination to follow the program for one month.
You'll definitely want to see what happens during this woman's quest to turn herself into the Las Vegas showgirl of her childhood dreams.
"Supercharge Me ... 30 Days Raw" is being produced by Emporia Pictures.

The film trailer may be viewed on the web site:
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Posted: Jun 25, 2006 10:52am
Feb 14, 2006
bloody valentine
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Posted: Feb 14, 2006 2:09am
Feb 8, 2006
Focus: Human Rights
Action Request: Boycott
Location: United States

Break up with Google this Valentine's Day.

On Tuesday, February 14th join the No Luv 4 Google campaign and protest Google's partnership with the Chinese government in censoring and distorting the truth. More than just blocking access to "politically sensitive information" (as if that wasn't bad enough), Google directs users in China, Tibet and other Chinese-occupied territories to the wrong information - propaganda Beijing wants them to see.

We've created a special site just for this campaign. Visit: now to check it out!

This Valentine's Day, show you have a heart for freedom and human rights and no love for Google:

For too long western businesses have told us their presence in China would bring openness and democracy, but instead, China has changed our businesses to become more closed and repressive. While Tibetans and others suffering under Beijing's brutal rule look to the free world to help, most corporations and governments are selling them out. And now Google, one of the most popular and seemingly progressive Internet industry leaders, has sold them out too.

On February 14th, stand up for freedom and human rights and show Google that human values aren't for sale. Click here to take action now!

We know Google's not the only one helping the Chinese government. Click here to take action and tell Yahoo!, Microsoft & Cisco Systems you don't love them either.

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Posted: Feb 8, 2006 12:47pm


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