Saturday, July 31, 2010


Just spent a few moments surfing Facebook likes/dislikes.

Found one which had the following: 

American Patriots:
Rush Limbaugh
Glen Beck
Sean Hannity
Sara Palin
(Honorable Mention)
Fox News Commentators

Hard to believe.

Unless, of course, he was reverting to his old prank of hustling others to do something he wouldn’t think of doing himself:  Once he led a march at college protesting the Kent State shootings, except when it looked like the police were going to take some action, he scooted, leaving some of our mutual friends to be tear gassed and arrested.

I hope it’s just the prankster returning.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Ideas about one subject

The New York Times today carries a mini debate between Paul Krugman and Ross Douthat concerning global warming.

They both discuss, essentially, how we got to the point at which we find ourselves.  Both raise interesting points which converge ironically, in the final paragraphs.

Krugman ends with “Greed, aided by cowardice, has triumphed;” Douthat with “sometimes it makes sense to wait, get richer, and then try to muddle through.” (Emphasis added.)

Two mentions for greed, one for cowardice. 

Greed wins.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Wanted: Spell Check for frmr gov, near veep

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Of all the gaffes, this is the best one in years:

Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate

The idea of a new verb, to refudiate, might be a good one. 

Let’s hope the Republican electorate puts it to good use in the near future.

Trust, but verify.  (And Spell Check can help with that—although maybe Facebook doesn’t have that app.)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Social Security at 70? Maybe.

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There are discussions about deficit reduction, entitlements, saving Social Security and Medicare.  One of the ideas floated recently is raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.

From this side of 70—72—I can see a benefit to this, with some qualifications.

When I retired at 60 in 1998, I figured to start an “early” Social Security withdrawal at 62, and that’s what I finally did.

At the time I had an option of starting an early withdrawal at a considerable reduction in benefits.  I don’t remember the exact amount, but I’d say it was in the 50% range. 

My needs are small.  My teaching pension is small-ish, but doable.  The extra couple of hundred bucks was very helpful, and I saw no benefit to wait three years for plus five hundred dollars.  I’ve been lucky, got a break in housing five years ago.  And now, at 72, with a bit of Depression Era mind set from my parents, I’m not in trouble unless California truly succumbs to the Republican mantra of “starve the beast.”  (!)

If the retirement age for Social Security were to be enacted, along with a similar draw-down for “early” withdrawal pensioners, and some good luck along the way, surely there would be enough who would decide to take a smaller payment, and, thereby, the system would be a bit more sustainable.

With enough education, and enough time to develop private pensions, the system will be OK.

Let’s begin a discussion.  Speak with Social Security recipients.  Maybe we can help.

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