We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Americans, as well as citizens of many other advanced nations, now spend about twice as many years in retirement as they did a generation or two ago. During that time, they expect the government to provide them with income support and healthcare. Is it any wonder that we face serious fiscal problems?
I remember sitting a future technology seminar with the Presidents of Data General, DEC and Prime computers and their technology leaders - all which firmly believed and predicted that email would have no use outside the office environment - that it was strictly an intra-office device for better communications.
I think of SS as a promise that I'll have a lot of money taken out of my paycheck each year that I otherwise would have had available to put away for my own security in old age, which instead will be squandered on whatever general federal deficit is going that year. I never expect to see any of the money again, and if I do, it will be a small fraction of what was taken, using any kind of reasonable assumed growth rate. So I'm just put to the expense of saving for my own retirement on top of what has been deducted for SS throughout my working life. But at least I don't expect to have to depend on the government to keep a roof over my head and food on my table.
Please take a look --you'll be astounded to know that until the mid-80s (when fedgov shut the door) certain groups --such as employees of Galveston County, TX, could opt out of SS. Galveston County did just that --and are enjoying a rate of return three times that of the federal wealth-consuming monster.
Why is the US Mail "obsolete"? I find it a highly reliable way to send letters and packages at a reasonable cost. I've never had a single one of them go astray or be long delayed---and by my age, I've mailed many thousands of them, so I have more than enough data to form a solid conclusion. In fact, I have noticed recently that more of my orders from Amazon.com are coming by the USPS rather than by FedEx or UPS, both of which I also find to offer reliable service. Maybe the problem is the Post Office's rate structure. If the USPS could charge $25 or $50 for handling a tiny package or letter the way their private competitors do, maybe they could pay for their out-of-control cost structure. So, if TigerHawk means that the Post Office should be privatized to become something kind of like a regulated power utility (required to service all areas of the country but allowed to adjust its prices freely), then I think it would actually survive and possibly even thrive in competition against other package delivery companies.
The sea ice thing:
Moonbattery claimed that a group was admitting that sea ice was thickening, but then linked to that group's article which said --
Third-lowest Arctic sea ice
According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over the past 30 years at least, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season. Arctic sea ice extent during the 2009 melt season was 5.10 million km2, which is the third-lowest on record after the 2007 record (4.3 million km2) and 2008 (4.67 million km2), since satellite measurements began in 1979.
If you can't read the links, at least lie about it better.
Oh, who gives a shit about the sea ice --it goes up, it goes down, it never ever evr evr evr evr evr stays the same --how thick is it 'spose to be anyway? At least give us a number, if we're 'spose to 'do something'.