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Dude? DUDE? God, they're freaking everywhere. SIGH :-) (Sorry. We all have oure limits).

Notice we aren't using the post office to communicate this information. We could, but for some reason we aren't.

Or FedEx either, come to that.

How about the whacked out, overpaid ,"going postal" workers?

Overpaid? By what standards?

The post office is a government monopoly. If you don't believe it's still federal, try crossing a postal inspector and see what the consequences are.

No. It is a quasi-private corporation. Sort of the worst of both worlds. The inspectors enjoy a fairly unique atatus.

No, they can't account for millions if not billions of money (I forgot the actual figure). They can't even give the same answer to the same tax question twice.

I thought it was the Dept of Interior that had lost track of billions in the Tribal Trust. Or is this something else? As to the IRS not giving the same answer twice, I once had the fun of getting two different answers in the same phone call. Neither totally right, it turned out.

On the other hand , I once worked for a company that wrote software for banks and had a 40% market share. Very complex software, at that. One of our clients once calle4d the help desk four different times during a 10 day period. Asked 4 different people the exact same question about the software we wrote and got four wring answers. And the company was (and remains) an industry leader. (SURPRISE; It's not Microsoft)

I don't know why anyone would let another entity either government or business be in charge their own retirement account. I'll take a 401K or IRA (either type) any day.

I agree about 401k or IRA. Sadly, a lot of companies don't like them.

But I was referring to the abuses and fraud by the businesses themselves. There is a federal program to insure private pensions. A number of companies seemed to use that as an "excuse" to essentially raid their employee's pension plans to fund various endeavors, expansions, acquisitions and so on. The problem is that when the investments go south, they never bother to refurbish the plans (much like social security). As Raoul Duke commented "But the pension plan was just sitting there".

Yes, it's illegal. But the company can always file bankruptcy and the individual's responsible can hide behind the corporate shield. (Which always struck me as a form of privatized sovereign immunity. Be interested in hearing any Libertarians explain and reconcile the idea of individual responsibility with the reality of the corporation as a legal entity).

They are doing that. It makes no sense to retire some of that debt, it would cost more to pay it off early than to let it mature as planned. Some of the debt is savings bonds which would require people holding them to take them in and lose interest.

Savings Bonds are a minimal share.(A couple of hundred billion, I think) I'm talking about the 3 trillion plus in T-bills. Essentially revolving a credit account. Plus the hidden deficit of the underfunded social security and medicare funds.

There should be no connection. The tax burden is way too high, the government needs to be reduced in size and make do with less bureaucracy. Yes. First we need to approach the matter fiscally, not ideologically. I can (IMHO) make a better argument for social welfare programs than for corporate welfare. So far, the cuts have addressed the former. Consider the ergonomic program. The reality is that, systemically and fiscally, the proposed conversions (10 years in the making) would cost less than the cost of the injuries that would happen without then. The problem is that the cost of the claims is a shared risk. An insurance pool of sorts that spreads the cost of claims across all businesses, whether ergonomics has anything to do with them or not. Had the regulation stood, those types of businesses whose work generated the problems, would have borne the costs. A sort of cost of doing business. Which is now shared unequally.

It should be his right to decide how to dispose of their income, not the government's. What happened to freedom?

Freedom isn't absolute. And one of the essential functions of any government is some sort of redistribution of resources. The issue remains, for me, one of individual morality and ethics. Though not practicing, I was raised a Christian with a strong belief in duty and the dignity and well being of the individual. Of all individuals. Like John Dunne, I believe that no man is an island. I am troubled when the right to make a profit is proclaimed, acted on and legislated as a higher moral/ethical value than our common duty to one another. End of Sermom.

That's not true. I have seen the crowds of clergy gearing up for the FBI deployment. They range from the Nation of Islam to the LDS and Catholics.

Scientology? Pagans. Wiccans? Buddhists? Time will tell. And no doubt the law suits.

Actually I would say 1000s of times more column inches and air time (including a concerted effort by climatologist) have been devoted to promote the concept of global warming than to dispute it.

But then, there are many more column inches devoted to debunking perpetual motion than proclaiming it's existence. The latest bomb to fall on the global warming crowd is the release of information that most changes have been noticed at sea and the temperature samples were being taken by sailors from the water, assuming water and air temperatures would be the same. Seems that assumption was not valid and the water temperatures were in fact higher than the air temps. skewing the whole study's findings artificially high.

Not exactly "artificially". A methodological error. (Maybe) It was the first hard evidence I've seen. Before we start the celebration, lets recall that what they may have found is not that global warming isn't happening. But that the rate of increase is less than originally proposed.

Other evidence, like the rock indicator you mention are anomolies. Scientist have no great obligation to explain an anomaly. Rather, those who propound the anomaly need to also discount all (or almost all) of the other evidence (the preponderance of evidence) documented. Global warning explains it. They must show why it doesn't and offer an alternate explanation. Debunking a set of facts is half the equation. Providing an alternate to the fact sis the other. But of course, you're my favorite liberal

Liberal? Moi? Probably not. Liberl or conservative tend to be top down (Ideologies mandating behaviors and beliefs). I prefer building from the bottom (from basic values) up.

Thanks for the discussion. Any thoughts on the plan to cut funds so the Dept of Interior can't enforce court orders related to the Endangered Species Act? Other than it's certainly cynical enough?



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