Tuesday, July 24, 2012

And Now The Swan Song

Long ago I realized that I hate titling things so I just made them make as little sense as possible and called it good.  Hello again and I am back for MOAR!  I am starting to come to the conclusion that excercing would be a good like choice to make but I hate running.  I just don't like it.  I never have and I never will.  I remember at the height of our DDR playing at one point a friend of mine and I wondered if we were in shape.  We almost were!  We were some badass sprinters and we had quite a bit of endurance so it is possible it just needs to become a thing I do.  I'll figgur it out somehow.  Maybe bike riding or something like that I dunno.  I loved riding my bike as a kid.

Lets talk about something else.  I am not sure what though I just know I am in the mood to write.  Oh pop politics!  That is what I wanted to talk about because this is a brilliant little topic.  I came up with the idea late one night after anime club when we were talking about stuff in the parking lot.  I forget how it came up but a friend of mine suddenly asked "did the post office ever start making money".  This is a person who is someone who follows the tech news not the political side show abombination thing.  Yet it is something he knew just enough about to think it is a problem and to wonder if it has ever been resolved.  There are lots of things like this, the debt ceiling, the health care bill, and whatever else the GOP feels like making noise about.

The insidious thing about these pop political topics is that is they work on two levels.  One is that there is something fundamentally wrong with our country and two is that nothing ever gets done.  Lets go back to the post office point because it has some fertile territory.  Now there is some interesting topics that we can debate about.  Other countries have privatized their postal services to great effect and we already have Fedex and UPS in place.  It is possible for our post office to make a profit and having some discussion of maybe condensing down the number of offices we have or better yet modernizing them so we need less post offices in the future.  Something like that.  There are lots of level headed and interesting ways this conversation can go and it is something I've had the pleasure of talking about a couple of times.

The way the debate was framed was one congressman held up a chart and asked people, "When was the last time you've been in a McDonalds?  When was the last time you've been in a post office?  Then he pointed at the chart comparing the number of McDonalds vs PostOffices in the US as if this is a compelling argument.  I don't have the numbers and I am not getting them for you but there are MANY more post offices in the US than there are McDonalds.  This was the intelectual high point of the televised debate on the topic.  This was the best they could do.  This was what they considered good arguement.  Some asshole compared a place where you can get good fries and shitty food to a place that processes and distributes the mail with such speed and effecency that you can mail things across the country and have it get there in the same week.  Your right the two are absolutely equivalent and we are all stupid for not seeing that earlier.  You guys can't imagine the unbridled fury I have towards that arugment and everyone fucking went along with it like comparing apples to oranges was the thing to do.  Okay enough about our failures to hold an intelectual debate, in fact I need a clean break from this paragraph.

The main point is that the post office can make money.  It is possible.  There is a million complex reasons why it isn't.  However, all of these reasons are linked to the fact that the post office has congress as a middle mananger.  The post master general can't make many changes without congressional approval and we all know how well that goes.  I realize I am saying this without substantiating it and I am sorry but it is lunch time and I am running low on time.  Google it and trust me you will find what I am talking about it isn't hard.

So the GOP makes massive hay out of an issue that is congress's fault as a whole and yet the squarely place the blame back on the post offiice.  In this patiular case they didn't do very much to make Obama look bad directly but here is the thing you don't have to.  They turned the post office into a big deal.  They turned it into a massive side show and the facts were grotesquely miss represented.  What is the big deal about the post office?  Well it is loosing money and we should have a talk about it.  That is pretty much it.  However, by making the issue seem much worse than it is and by dropping it in favor for the next "disaster" it leaves everyone feeling uneasy.  So what we have are a bunch of semi informed to uninformed people who know there is a problem with the post office and they know it was never really resolved.  The automatic question is what is the president going to do about it.  Of course THAT ISN'T EVEN THE RIGHT QUESTION.  I don't know why people think it is, but it isn't.  It is congresses' responsibility to move on things like this. Yet is seems more and more that the congress and the senate have become more interested in shifting blame around and not dealing with the problems at hand.

Oh well.

In other news I am considering getting into Tomarrow's War.

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