Because You Ask
Because you ask, the answer is no. This is a friendly cousin of an old favorite, “Because, you wish it!” which I picked up from a happy-go-lucky Klingon Commander in the movie Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
It’s a simple policy I find to be remarkably effective.
For a limited time, I’ll explain how it works.
Step 1: Find someone to ask you for something. This usually isn’t too hard.
Step 2: Say “no.” The phrase “Because, you wish it!” is optional but provides a certain undeniable flair.
If you can’t find someone to ask for something, try going grocery shopping. 99% of the time (or so I theorize) the amount of your purchase will contain a fractional amount of dollars. (I’m in cents about that.) That’s when the happy-go-lucky clerk will loudly ask, for all to hear:
You’re not such a selfish sack of shit that you’re unwilling to “round up” for charity, are you? Huh, huh, huh? Greedo! I must be Han Solo because I’m firing first. I dare you to say no. It’s for “charity” and that’s always good, right? Am I right or am I right?
Listen, fuck face. I’m doing you a courtesy by shopping in your establishment. And you respond to that by trying to guilt me into some action that will ultimately make you look good?
I decided the best course of action is to carry an actual bottle of Roundup® Weed Killer on my belt. (Who says Monsanto can’t be handy?) When some snot nose practitioner of psychological warfare asks me if I want to “round up” I’ll happily reply, “Don’t mind if I do!” and spray that shit right in their face.
Human acute toxicity is dose related. Acute fatal toxicity has been reported in deliberate overdose. Epidemiological studies have not found associations between long term low level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.
Based on an assessment completed in 1993 and published as a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document, the EPA considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity. The EPA considered a “worst case” dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.
In June 2013, the Medical Laboratory in Bremen published a report that glyphosate was present in human urine samples from 18 European countries. Malta showed the highest test results with the chemical showing up in 90% of samples and the average for all countries was 43.9%. Diet was stated as the main source.
Thanks for the assist, Wikipedia! 🙂
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. “Won’t you round up that wee bit for charity?” That sounds a lot nicer than the reality: “Gimme some arbitrary amount of your cash for our cause that you know nothing about. Our admin costs are only 98%. Ha ha ha!”
Or, worse: “We’ll use this money to fight against you, your core beliefs, and every cultural warfare front on which you stand opposed.” On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be shopping at Chick-Fil-A and/or the Boy Scouts after all.
What’s wrong with asking for a little charity? Mainly that it makes it your decision and not mine. What could possibly be wrong with that? Only that I have absolutely no idea what my money will be used to support. Duh.
Recently a dude came to my door and asked for marriage equality support. That’s one of my pet causes. I gladly told him we already signed the petition when we enjoyed a “free” concert in the park. (Ha!) He said, “That’s great. I also need $60.”
“I don’t know who the hell you are.” Worse, the dude was a paid canvasser. Bothering me in my own home was his job. Somehow that rubs me the wrong way. It’s feels like spraying Monsanto on those alleged grass roots.
Long story short, me and the dude had a 45-minute conversation on my front porch and we connected. I ended up violating my own rule and giving him the oddly specific amount of $60. It didn’t hurt that this was a cause I believe in. What can guru say? Guru is often too nice.
A few weeks later, though, come to find out there are two different groups operating in the state, ostensibly for the same overall goal, but employing differing and contradictory strategies. Holy crap. Which group did I agree with? Which strategy did I end up “voting” for with my money? Did I agree with it? Or was I on the wrong side?
This is why giving to charity should be an outgoing decision, never incoming. Ever. To choose to do so is akin to voluntarily flushing your money down a toilet. Or worse.
So sell me my groceries and shut the hell up. I got hit by enough beggars just by walking into your store. That should have been my first clue, I guess.
Haiti: Generosity reduced by three percent
On January 14th The Huffington Post reported that donations made by generous Americans using credit cards to charitable organizations assisting with relief efforts in Haiti were being “skimmed” by credit card companies by three percent.
The Huffington Post said that for every dollar donated about three percent was kept by banks and credit card companies in the form of transaction fees. It was additionally reported that these companies traditionally keep about $250 million from charitable donations annually.
Who knew that profiting from the generosity of others could be so bloody lucrative?
Then, on January 16th, I heard about the issue from MoveOn.org in an email:
But when Americans donate to charity with their credit cards, the credit card companies get rich. In some cases they keep 3% of the donation as a “transaction fee,” even though that’s far more than it costs them to process the donation.
Now the New York Times is reporting that “some” fees are being waived:
After being criticized for siphoning off up to 3 percent of charitable donations for transaction fees, the nation’s largest payment networks — Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover — announced that they would waive fees for some contributions aimed at aiding Haiti in the wake of a devastating earthquake.
The New York Times reported that these transaction fees typically range from 1 to 3 percent.
The Huffington Post also reported that only one time before did the credit card companies waive these transaction fees and that was for the tsunami disaster of 2004.
The rest of the time it is apparently business as usual which means profiting from charitable donations.
So the credit card companies said they’ll waive some fees. Who will do what? Let’s find out (per the New York Times):
- Visa – “would not apply interchange fees, through February, to donations made to a select group of major charities — the names of which were still being compiled — that are providing support to Haitian relief efforts. The company said it would also donate any revenue that was generated by charitable donations related to the Haiti crisis through next month.”
- Mastercard – “would wave interchange fees on relief donations made using United States-issued MasterCards to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Unicef, Save the Children and CARE U.S.A.” The article did not indicate a time frame for this.
- American Express – “through the end of February, it would rebate the transaction fees for charitable contributions made on its card directly to the nonprofit organizations listed on the Agency for International Development’s Web site in support of Haiti relief.”
- Discover – “said it was also waiving some fees but did not immediately offer details.”
Wow. What commitment. If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart I don’t know what will. Apparently if you contribute to charity outside the bounds of these very narrowly defined exceptions they will still happily gobble up those transaction fee profits. Additionally they appear to be building in time limits on how long they are willing to do this, like a whopping month or two. I guess they figure they’ll do what looks good now in the moment when the public’s eye is focused on them and then go back to normal once this all blows over. It’s true the memory of the American people can be short.
Meanwhile, I’ve lost all “interest” in credit card companies. I already boycott them for financial reasons. Now I have extra incentive. Thanks, evil scum.