Monday, May 16, 2005

Star Trek fans (esp. Enterprise), here, quickly!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

All right, five page story by Dale Russakoff out of the Washington Post on Social Security, and I'm not past the first page:

"I feel completely secure," says Paugh, no small triumph for the third of 13 children born to farmers in Depression-era Appalachia. The triumph is not only his but also the country's -- the fulfillment of a New Deal vision of cradle-to-grave security, underwritten by the federal government and large industrial employers.

That vision is being supplanted by one President Bush calls the Ownership Society, in which the burdens of economic security -- and, the president hopes, the rewards -- shift back to individuals.

Darn you, President Bush! (That's how I'm supposed to feel--right, Dale?) *snip*

This is a new order with new givens. Paugh and his co-workers came of age as Democrats who felt protected by their union, their party and their government. His grandchildren are all registered Republicans who feel largely on their own in a world full of risks and responsibilities, and no guarantees. They are willing to give Bush's Ownership Society a try, saying they have no hope that government or employers can or will protect them.

Despite the Depression, Paugh was on Easy Street under the Democrats compared to his grandchildren!

I'll have to read the next four pages later--I'm off to the gym!

Update: Well, I've finished the piece. The next four pages are basically a comparison of Mr. Paugh, 83 and retired, to his children and grandchildren. Paugh, writes Russakoff, is supported by the three-legged stool of pension, personal savings and Social Security. His grandhildren have 401k's (a mixture, writes Russakoff) of personal savings and pension, but they can't rely on Social Security, especially, he doesn't specifically write, but implies, if President Bush's personal savings plan for Social Security gets turned into legislation.

This is an imbalanced piece that, at 5:36 in the afternoon, has a much less prominently placed headline on the website's front page than it did this morning. It nowhere mentions that if no action is taken to change Social Security--if we stay the course--then retirment will be much tougher for the Paugh grandchldren.

It ends on a gloomy note:

Here was Junior Paugh at the wheel of his silver Buick LeSabre, having moved out of poverty, into the middle class, and now a secure retirement, with the help of one employer and his government. And here, only two generations behind him, sat Pamela Cody, feeling abandoned by everything her grandfather valued.

"I see how my grandparents were able to get by, but my husband and I just struggle from paycheck to paycheck," she said. "I don't have a pension and I'm not expecting Social Security to hold up long enough for me. Where is all the government's money going? Who is it benefiting? Nothing is benefiting me."

It's benefiting your grandfather, Ms. Cody. You don't get your share until you're a senior. The hope is that we'll be able to hash that out by the time you get there.

Interesting note about the Social Security debate. The importance of getting it passed during Bush's second term, according to a-pundit-on-one-of-those-news-programs-probably-Special-Report, is that the next president will not have the freedom to be aggressive enough to get the right bill passed. The '08 president will likely want to talk social security after she has won her second term in 2112 [Eek! How old will I be then?] Say it takes a year or two to get through the sausage factory, that puts it just two or three years ahead of Doom Date, 2017, when it starts taking in less than it puts out.

This does not make it any politically easier on the legislators who have to pass it, but do we really want to wait until 2114 before we have a plan in action?
First you must make sure your post is level:





Next you must screw in your brackets, upper first:





And your lower bracket:





As careful as you try to be, your measurements can still be imprecise:





So you have to use your saw:





And eventually, you get a fence you can be proud of::





Also above, note that Gene has buried the bodies installed a
French drain (I don't know why they're called French, btw).



When you're entirely through with all that you can do for the day, haul
out what's left of the old fence to the front yard, for big-garbage
pick-up Monday.





After a few days of dry weather, we'll get a delivery of six yards of
dirt to level out the back yard (and bury the bodies hide the
drain). Then we'll get a
truck load of topsoil and after that some sod. Perhaps by then, Brendan
will be walking, and I can open the back door to him, knowing he'll
stay safely in the backyard. Nice.