Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good morning, everyone. We have had a week of very nice temperatures--the mid and high 60s. Well above normal for November though thankfully not in the range of what California had the week before. The coming week, the news readers say, will be much more normal with a chance of snow. Since we don't really have to go out in it, we don't agonize over it. Over the last few years I was working I hated stormy weather because I had to go out in it. Now, barring an emergency, I don't.

So the U.S. Postal Service is operating at a loss--a BIG loss. I heard the story on the news last night and HuffingtonPost has this story this morning. The Post Office has been pushing for an increase in postage prices for months now though the Rate Commission refused the request. As I read the HuffingtonPost piece I realized the inanity of our current national mind set. We have an agency which is and isn't part of the government. The authority to establish a postal service is in the constitution and we have had that service since very early in our history. Yet in recent years we have decided that we don't want to fund it from tax revenues. Though the service is supposed to be self supporting we insist that its operations be overseen by the government--hence the inability of the service to set its own hours or rates. The postal service is the bastard child of schizophrenic parents (namely us, by way of our elected representatives). We need to make a decision here on whether the Postal Service provides a vital service to the country as a whole. If it does we need to decide what the required level of service should be and then fund it properly. If we decide it isn't necessary we need to look at whether the Constitutional language mandates the establishment of a Postal Service or simply gives permission for the establishment. Like so much else in government, this is not a business decision. It can't be governed strictly by a financial bottom line.

Here is a cute post at Jasmine Tea and Jiaozi. The author is an Englishwoman who is spending a couple of years living in Beijing. I have a while before my birth year recurs so I have plenty of time to find some red underwear.


Kay Dennison said...

I send (maybe) one letter a month -- my rent check. Frankly, after the past election, I'd like to see the cost of bulk (read: junk) go up. I swear that several forests were decimated to send unwanted you-know-what to my mailbox and with the holidays approaching, another barrage is forthcoming.

I'm glad the sun's been shining but know the grey days are coming. Sigh.

Herschelian said...

Hi Mary Contrary - I am SO flattered that you linked to my blog - thank you!
I, too, am something of a ranter - in fact I had a blog called 'The 3Rs, reading, ranting and recipes' but when I got out here to Beijing I found that because of the Great Firewall of China I was unable to access it (Blogger blogs, YouTube and Facebook are all blocked by the Chinese powers-that-be, grrr!). So I started my new blog about aspects of life here.
Just one little detail - although I have lived in London for umpteen years before coming here to China, I am not an Englishwoman - I am South African - or Nan Fei Ren as they say here.
I am really enjoying reading through your posts over the past months! Sincerely, Jo (aka Herschelian)