Postage Due

Last week my doorbell rang. It was the mailman. He had a postage-due package from my new healthcare provider. I asked him why this particular package required $3.17 to receive. He showed me the metered stamp. It was a third class document, and third class cannot be forwarded to my new address. Hymmph, my healthcare provider considers his detailed book of benefits as third class, I’m in trouble.

The postage due was a benefit I never expected because I met a very interesting man. His name is Henry. Henry asked if I had read his letter to the editor published in last weeks free newspaper. I had not, in fact, I did not receive the paper. Before Henry left to continue delivering mail to his customer’s I learned a lot about him, his political views, his religion, and his family.

Henry came to America from Guatemala. He speaks excellent english and seems very well-educated. He told me he had been a merchant sailor for twelve years, and sailed to many ports around the Atlantic Ocean. He visited many countries. “When I arrived in America the very first time, I knew this is where I wanted live,” he said. “I am part Jewish and went Israel and I would never live there, nor Spain, or anywhere in Europe. I just knew America was my home. I love this country.”

He went on to explain that we have some very bad people coming into the country now, and we need to fix the borders. “I came in and applied legally, I waited, and I became a citizen, but these new people walk across the border and expect everything.” He was not happy with the situation. Then, he said something very surprising. When the current president came into office, Henry and his wife decided to migrate away from America because they do not approve of  Obama’s socialist transformation. They visited New Zealand with the idea of moving there. “It is a beautiful country, not like Australia, but we didn’t do our homework before we traveled there. We learned that New Zealand has a socialist medical system like the one coming to America, and we abandoned our plan to move.”

“Where will you go,” I asked.

“In a few years I will retire and return to Guatemala.”

Talk about  going full circle, Henry moved from Guatemala to have a happier life, which he found in America, and will return to the life he didn’t like in Guatemala just to get away from America turning socialist.

A few days went by and I found a copy of the Sun City West Independent that he promised to leave me. He circled his letter to the editor. In his letter he addressed the problem of the Post Office losing money. He urged fellow citizens to mail more letters instead of using e-mail and Facebook to communicate. He explained the reason for the P.O. losing money as follows

“But one of the Postal Service’s biggest problem has nothing to do with the mail. Its finances sank in fiscal year 2007, shortly after Congress passed the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. It required the postal Service to start pre-funding the health benefits of future retirees 50 years in advance at a rate of about $5.6 billion a year. No other agency or corporate entity is required to do this. Without this restriction, the USPS would be profitable.”

He is right, it doesn’t make sense to pass a law to make the USPS behave one way when every agency of government rides on the tax-payer without providing any service.

Henry’s complete letter is below.

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We Are Screwed

Dorothy did it to me again. She sent me a video that has me in a countdown mode. How long before the USA crashes? The answer is not simple. If our leaders fail to address the problems before us, we are screwed. There is no better way to put it.

At this point, we have a few seconds to fix the problem. If we choose the wrong President, we are screwed. If our leaders lie to us, and fail to fix the problem, we are screwed. It is only a matter of time before the USA is at the bottom of the list with Greece, Spain, and every other pot hole of a country that has nothing. If we keep the guy we have, we know the race is on to give away the America’s wealth before the economy collapses. If we choose the new guy whose background is in fixing broken companies, we might still have a chance.

Where is our current leadership? Why are they concentrating on going around the world poking sticks into hornets nests when they should be working 24/7 on fixing the economy and the broken entitlement system we so generously asked for.

Anyone with a third grade education can watch this video and tell where the problem lies. It explains why interest rates are so low. The Fed knows if it were higher the countdown would be moving at the speed of light toward our failure. I think the people of America are smart enough and mature enough to understand what needs to be done. Will our elected representatives have the cojones to do something about it?

At this point I am glad I am the age I am. Even if I survive another twenty years (fat chance of that happening) I will not have to endure the misery as long as my grandkids who range in age from seven to eighteen. Those poor kids won’t know what hit them, and I feel responsible for doing it to them. The thought that I’ll spend eternity knowing I did it to them just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Of course I was not alone, I have around 330 million neighbors who also contributed to the problem.

So the question is this, what are we, uh, what are you going to do about the situation?

I know what I will do.

Watch the video to understand the problem. It wasn’t caused by Obama or Bush, It started in the nineteen forties with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Everyone since then has exacerbated the problem.

 

Burning Gas-Alamo

The Alamo has been pulling me to visit since I read a biography of Davy Crockett in fourth grade. The Alamo began as the Mission San Antonio de Valero by the Roman Catholic missionaries from Spain. Founded in 1716 as part of a Spanish plan to Christianize Native Americans and colonize northern New Spain. By 1793 Spain dissolved the mission through the process of secularization.

Since then the Mission has provided housing for Mexican and Spanish troops, Indians, and squatters. It has been a hospital, a warehouse, jail, Masonic lodge, troop garrison, public park, movie set, and tourist attraction.

Around the 1800’s Spanish cavalry from the Mexican town of El Alamo set up shop in the mission and people began referring to it as “the Alamo.”

The Alamo is a symbol of liberty and a fight for independence. The Mexican army held a small band of Texans under siege in the Alamo. Badly outnumbered, The Texans lost the battle at the Alamo, but fought to the death trying to preserve their new country. The Republic of Texas formed in 1836 after defeating the Mexican army in the battle of San Jacinto.

Texans continue to revere the Alamo as a shrine to liberty, and that is what drew me to visit.

The Alamo is a short walk from the river walk, and is well worth taking the time to see it if you are there.

The Alamo, Mission San Antonio de Valero

Backside of the Alamo

Little known is the string of Spanish missions that extend northward. Five missions spaced about two miles apart existed to convert the Indians and to colonize for Spain around 1720. One of the nicest is Mission San Jose, just a few miles north of the Alamo on Mission Road. The church façade at San Jose has been restored to its original appearance. Five separate bodies control the mission: the City of San Antonio, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, the State of Texas, the National Park Service, and the San Antonio Conservation Society. A park ranger explained that to keep a separation of church from state, the National Park Service owns and operates the property except for the church and the ground it stands on. It belongs to the Archdiocese of San Antonio. San Jose is an active parish church with a thriving congregation.

My photos don’t do justice to the beauty of this church.

Mission San Jose

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A Very, Very, Very Sad Song

Play gypsy play! What a sad song you send us from your melancholy strings. A good fifteen percent of the work force is out of work, but our president has the guts to send his family to Spain on a junket. Who is paying for that? I really feel for his finances. He really made me feel like he can relate to the plight of the general population with his tear jerking story of maxed out credit cards, and the struggle to feed a 401K. That has changed dramatically hasn’t it?

Keep paying those taxes America, the liberals aren’t finished spending your money.

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