Your mother is using and is familiar enough with running Windows XP, so why not just give her a machine that looks like XP? Install Ubuntu, then install XPGnome (video at http://blog.hostonnet.com/xpgnome-make-ubuntu-look-like-windows-xp, download from http://linux.softpedia.com/progDownload/XpGnome-Download-52808.html). If you really want to stick with M$ Windoze or you / your mother have a desire to buy a new machine, install Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/) and set the interface to look like XP.
I see it all the time - invitations showing up in my in-box for times that are already committed. If they need me for that meeting and that's the only time that works for the rest of the invitees, they should phone or "ping" (Lotus Sametime Connect) me to see if I have the flexibility to move my other commitment(s). OTOH, if they really don't need me, they can make me an "Optional (cc)" attendee and leave it up to me as to whether to attend or not. We also have an "FYI (bcc)" function in Notes Calendar for those situations where that is most appropriate.
Perhaps semantics, but my use of the term "challenge" appears to have been interpreted as me personally attacking someone. On the contrary, my challenge to those people is usually upon the lines of "I keep my calendar current - use it". This is my way of changing / maintaining the culture, and would also appear to be consistent with your closing statement.
"throwing that request out there and seeing who takes it and who rejects it" is just poor office etiquette and completely unacceptable. I have (and will) challenge anyone in our organization who does that to me.
Let me understand this: We've already got a mechanism that measures and taxes usage, and Oregon wants to go to a mechanism that requires a massive investment in tracking technology and administration, and will essentially take away much of the incentive to use less fuel? Is Kulongoski nuts, or is he just floating this out as some kind of "straw man" or "trial balloon" to see what kind of reaction it gets? I fail to understand why U.S. politicians can't grow some cojones and do what the rest of the world does - raise fuel taxes. This motivates consumers to drive less and buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, and it focuses the automobile manufacturers on supplying the demand for those vehicles. No CAFE legislation, no goofy GPS-tracking and, just as important, no bloated bureaucracy.
While there certainly have been situations where the financial institutions have not been diligent enough - and for which they can, should and have been held responsible - albeit not often enough. There are also many situations where it has been proven "the person applying for money or a loan or merchandise and the information that person supplies really go together". In these cases they have the necessary information to prove to a reasonable person they are who they claim to be (even though they're not). Your response seems to imply we should hold the banks and merchants responsible, and absolve the individuals of personal responsibility.