Service of What Were They Thinking II? Gun Permits for Blind Applicants, Publishing Charitable Donations and Magazine Subscription Rates

October 17th, 2013

Categories: Charity, Magazines, Subscriptions


Seeing Straight

Did you know that Iowa grants gun permits to blind applicants? They fear that not doing so would be in violation of the Americans with EyeglassesDisabilities Act.

Giving for All to See

Publishing the amounts people give to charity is old as the hills and must work. Proud of my new last name I learned my lesson when newly married a thousand years ago. I put my name on the envelope I dropped in the basket at church only to see it listed in the monthly published donations at the lowest level.

charityRecently I almost offered a modest online donation to celebrate a friend’s father’s life when I noticed that the site was publishing each donation and name. As $100 wasn’t the amount I had in mind, I passed. There’s no way to tell how much charities don’t get because of potential donors like me though I’m sure they’ve worked out that public pressure ups totals.

How Dumb Are Their Readers?

One design magazine has dogged me to renew my subscription at $24/year or a “special offer” of $48 for two. A blow-in card in every issue¬†boasts a $15 offer for new subscribers. Hmmm.

Can you add to this list? All three examples are head scratchers to me. Your thoughts?

writing a check

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7 Responses to “Service of What Were They Thinking II? Gun Permits for Blind Applicants, Publishing Charitable Donations and Magazine Subscription Rates”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    The blind often “see” much better than the sighted. As a former volunteer for the blind, I ran into one who got thrown out of a bowling competition having scored three strikes in a row. This person, whose eyes were destroyed after walking on a land mine, was informed that he could not possibly be blind. I have a touchy seat belt which seems to work only for blind passengers, so the state of Iowa may be more far sighted than many of us believe!

    A charity which publishes amounts of gifts should be avoided no matter how large or small the donation. It’s legitimacy should also be questioned, since no self respecting organization does such a thing.

    Magazines and other companies and corporations (i.e. Verizon, Optimum on Line, etc.) often give breaks to new subscribers. Some people make a career of bouncing around these entities in order to save money. The magazine doesn’t think it’s readership is stupid. It is looking to reel in new subscribers, who it is hoped, will enjoy the product enough to renew at the higher price.

  2. PWW Said:

    There’s a lot of “what were they thinking”. This is one you could stay on for a while. What were they thinking when they thought they were more important than was the credit of the U.S. What were they thinking when they continually lied about everything they could get their hands on at the Fox network. What were they thinking when they consistently say that Obama is a Muslim and was born in Kenya (by the way Ted Cruz was NOT born in the U.S. (Canada) so HE actually is not eligible to run for president)

    You could have fun with this one.

  3. jmbyington Said:


    Amazing example of a blind person who is able to bowl so well. I would nevertheless not want to be in the vicinity were he to try his hand at skeet shooting.

    As for offering lower prices to new customers, it may be done all the time but I don’t agree with the strategy. Imagine going to a store, pulling out a store credit card and the cashier adds 20 percent to your bill explaining that because you are a former customer you are not eligible for sales item prices.

  4. jmbyington Said:


    As you point out the folks in Washington thought only of themselves–not of their country or constituents or what they were hired–I mean elected–to do: A sad state of affairs.

    And will we again be faced with the same antics come February? I don’t dare think.

  5. jeanne Byington Said:


    I thought of something else that involves elections and (not) thinking: New York City paper ballots will use 6 point type in November. Gee whiz!

  6. JPM Said:

    Some years ago, thanks to my professional background, the chairman of a venerable, well-endowed New York State chartered educational not-for-profit invited me to join his board of trustees. Before accepting his flattering offer, since I was not rich, I asked him what would be expected of me financially. He told me that he was asking me to become a trustee to work, not to endow dormitories.

    I served as a trustee on that board for 20 years in positions of increasing responsibility, including over 10 as officer. I also gave modest amounts each year to fund drives. However, times change, and as it should be, new people with different ideas and values joined board. Somebody suggested, “Why don’t we have a capital campaign like everyone else does?”

    The board hired a slick professional fund raiser for a huge fee to advise it on how to raise the money and handle the mechanics of collecting it. Almost immediately afterwards, we trustees were politely told how much each one of us would be expected to contribute, and how our names, as trustees, would be prominently listed in all campaign literature along with the amount we pledged. My “planned gift” was greater than my gross annual income before taxes.

    I immediately went to the trustee chairing the drive and told her that I would, quite literally, be unable to participate. She said, “Don’t worry; everybody on the board knows what you have done for this institution. Just give something. We must have all the trustees listed as giving.” I replied that since she going to publish gift amounts, if I gave what I could afford, I’d look like I was a cheapskate. Instead, I said that I would help her reach her 100% of trustees giving goal by resigning, and promptly did so.

    While being a trustee had been a worthwhile and interesting experience, it was time for me to go. I’ve never regretted leaving. However, I was later told that I was missed. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What a story! Oh my. Reading your experience makes me very sad.

    As long as the board of trustees perfectly matches the students and parents in this educational institution, they no doubt have gone off into the heavens with bags full of money and noses well in place–i.e. not out of joint.

    I’ve been on boards where the diversity in income and background has been an asset. Some boards include crucial people who throw money at the cause and do nothing and others who work themselves into the floor and give little and still others who give $tons and work as though salaried. Without any of these contributions many institutions would crumble.

    Although unrelated to charity, but regarding loyalty which your experience lacked, I learned today of a woman who had worked as an administrative assistant for the owner of a small company for 25+ years, her signature was good on all his bank accounts which she kept in order, knew his business inside out, was at work at 8 or earlier every day and was dismissed last week without a cent of severance.

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