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Santa may be only way to get mailed package by Christmas

Sunday, December 2, 2012
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Santa may be only way to get mailed package by Christmas

USPS stands for UnSimplified Postal Service.

I note the following experience I am having with the U.S. Postal Service [USPS]. Right from the start my commentary is in no way meant to demean the men and women who work for the USPS. My comments are for the management they have to work for — which has created a system that runs contrary to delivering the mail on time and to the correct location.

I recently relocated, but within the same zip code and same post office. I filled out the forwarding mail form and then the fun began. The forwarded mail is routed to two other facilities, 30 and 60 miles away from my post office, where a yellow tag is placed on the envelope or package reminding me to send a change of address to the sender. This takes anywhere from seven to 10 days to execute on a first-class mail parcel.

I ordered an item from an individual in Georgia. The item had my new address and ended up at the local post office, only to be forwarded to the other two mail facilities for processing (yellow tagging). This process began at the beginning of November.

The parcel was forwarded, but to a mail facility in New Jersey, which then forwarded it to a facility in eastern Massachusetts, where it sits awaiting an “executive decision” as to which municipality should next be the recipient of my package. The parcel has a tracking number and a case has been assigned to my package. The USPS has assured me that they will get to the bottom of this and sent me a notice of additional postage due.

I couldn’t make up a story like this even if I tried. Meanwhile, I am curiously tracking the next route my package will take. Delivery now is subject only to a Christmas miracle.

William D. Wills

Amsterdam

County’s getting rid of Rittner was big mistake

I find it a big mistake for Schenectady County to fire Don Rittner as county historian. They’ll never find anyone else with his degree of initiative, originality, ever-growing stockpile of historical facts and years of experience of writing and publicizing.

[After] he lost his position as city historian, the city and county were getting a bargain out of Don as he is filled two positions for the price of one. I know because I worked with Don on some of these projects off and on, and I saw the quality of work he has done over many years. He is truly dedicated to educating people to local history and to local preservation.

He is involved with bringing motion picture productions to Schenectady, which bring business to the city and county. He is better versed and more articulate than anyone I know in connecting and promoting historic preservation and archeology to attracting tourists who in turn support local retail and service industries.

When Don was hired by the county several years ago, he was chosen from a field of other excellent candidates for good reason. Over these years, Don hasn’t diminished the quality of his work; he’s increased the amount and quality tenfold.

So what has changed? Perhaps the answer to that is the real rub — the political manipulators and elected and appointed officials have changed over the years.

John Wolcott

Albany

The writer is a historic preservationist.

Many ‘mood drugs’ are legal, so why not pot?

Legalize marijuana? A “fag” used to be a cigarette; now it is a term of derision. A “weed” used to be a nuisance plant; now it is a drug. Maybe we should call marijuana a med and sell it over the counter. Tax it heavily, of course.

Prohibition of alcohol did not work out! The process was instigated by well-intentioned idiots and exploited by the “mob.” The “mob” controls the marijuana issue and the idiots are still doing their thing. Children who otherwise would be sorted out by a responsible parent are drugged up to control miscreant behavior. “Hugs are better than drugs,” but touching is out.

A large number of the general population is on some sort of mood drug. Many people take mood drugs to “even out” their moods. Doctors will tell you they have strict guidelines in prescribing mood drugs. In a society that seeks mood adjustment every waking moment, there are no guidelines. Mood drugs contain many people in nursing facilities, some necessary, most as a substitute for hands-on care.

We live in a drugged-up world, where even “normal” people are forced to take mood medications. So who are we, as a society, to tell anyone what drug they can take, at any age?

Edmond Day

Rotterdam

Taxing rich takes away Americans’ motivation

There has been a lot of talk about taxing the wealthy. [Proponents] all say the purpose is to reduce the deficit, but we all know that is a fallacy. Increasing tax rates on the wealthy by the amount being proposed will only fund the government for a couple of months at best. It will lower the annual deficit by as much as 10 percent, still leaving a deficit of $1 trillion.

So what is the real reason? I have to ask these people: Is someone who is wealthy hurting them in some way? Do the wealthy take food off their tables? Do they take clothes off their backs? Do they take their shelter away? What is it that gives them the audacity to demand that the government take money away from the wealthy? Do they hope to gain more wealth? [It’s] not going to happen.

Not too long ago, the people of this nation aspired to do better than their parents, and their parents worked hard to give their children the opportunity to do better than them. Now we aspire to have the government forcibly take money from someone who happens to make more money than you. What kind of nation have we become?

The president, Democrats, and even Republicans all talk about helping the middle class. The dirty little secret is that is what they want everyone to be — only middle class. They don’t want anyone to be wealthy, except themselves. That is what progressives do. They want to control you and tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and where to do it. They believe they know better than you how to live your life.

And the ignoramuses are brainwashed by it. If we continue down this road, we will end up poorer and without our freedom.

This nation was made great not by taking money by force from wealthier people but by creating, building, and making new and improved things. And yes, along the way they made money, lots of money.

People calling for raising tax rates on the wealthy call the wealthy greedy. I say those people are envious.

John A. Gaetani

Glenville

Senate Dems got offer they couldn’t refuse

Republican state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos reminds me of Don Corleone.

Like the Godfather, Skelos has all the politicians in his pocket, keeping him in power. He will purchase the votes of Democratic Sen. Simcha Felder, along with Independent Democratic Caucus members Jeff Klein, David Carlucci, David Valesky and Diane Savino.

His offers of salary lulus, committee chairmanships, sponsorship and passage of favorable legislation promoted by their own “pay-for-play” campaign contributors, hidden earmarks buried under quasi-state agencies, along with extra funds for additional staff, district offices and mailings, can’t be refused. All five are puppets, while Godfather Skelos pulls the strings.

There are no politically pure virgins in Albany. Everyone has a price for selling out to the highest bidder.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

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December 2, 2012
8:10 a.m.
gina99 says...

John Wolcott- You have not been closely monitoring Schenectady in action. Don Rittner was hardly the first qualified person to be removed by the Democratic machine. The City recently fired its only finance expert. For years qualified people of the wrong party have been removed or demoted to make way for connected half wits. With predictable results-revenues tanking, taxes up and deficits soaring.

December 2, 2012
8:27 a.m.
wmarincic says...

John A. Gaetani,
A very well written letter, thank you. The only problem is that the people that vote for the Obama's and the democrats will never read it, they don't read the paper unless they hear that one of their friends were arrested or killed. The liberals are the entitlement people and the union people and they don't know it but they are slaves. Slavery is alive and well in America because those people believe that if they vote repub or conservative that they are voting themselves out of either free stuff or a job. When you vote against your beliefs in order to get something, anything, you are a slave, plain and simple.

December 2, 2012
12:05 p.m.
ronzo says...

Taxing rich takes away Americans’ motivation: Except for 1944-45 the highest marginal income tax rates (91%-92%) were in effect during the Eisenhower administration, a time of a booming economy during the post war era. Jobs were plentiful, American factories were operating at capacity, first time home buyers created new towns and cities. People were buying cars, TVs and other consumer goods. The very wealthy lived lavishly with what disposable income they had left after sending 90% of their income to the IRS. They were motivated to and did increase their wealth, investing in America by inventing and building more businesses to satisfy their personal goals and egos. There was no Grover Norquist to threaten politicians and the wealthy accepted income taxes as their fair share to the nation. Lyndon Johnson cut the tax rate to the mid-70% range where Nixon, Carter and Ford held it. Americans continued to prosper with jobs and the building of America continued. Then Reagan cut the highest marginal tax rate to 50% from 1982-1986 and as his thank you to his buddies who kept him awake and propped up cut it to 28% in 1988. Bill Clinton raised the rate to 31% then to 39.6% in 1993 and the economy boomed with the very wealthy living even higher on the hog, but contributing much less to the nation that gave them the opportunity to create their wealth. George W. Bush cut the rate to 35% in 2003, started two wars with no ability to pay for them, then unapologetically left the economic mess to Barack Obama. This is not ignoramous brainwash talk. It's history.

December 2, 2012
2:12 p.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

ronzo- Facts? Data? What are you, some kind of liberal elitist who thinks he's smarter than everyone else? ;)

December 2, 2012
2:53 p.m.
FrankLowe says...

Ronzo, Can you please explain to me what makes you think you are entitled to money that I have earned, because I don't understand your mindset. It's illegal to walk into a bank, a store, or a private residence and take that which does not belong to you, but you advocate the threat of force and violence to take property from those earned it, and give it to those who have not.

While this phrase has been repeated often, I'll use it again, " The federal government (all governments for that matter) doesn't have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem"

I'm not old enough to comment on the economy of the 40s and 50s, however I am familiar with the Clinton era which is often used as an example for today. The major difference I see between Clinton and Obama is that Clinton listened to his economic advisors, and put them ahead of his political advisors. Obama doesn't understand basic economics, and therefore makes his policy based on the advice of Chicago political hacks like Valerie Jarret and David Axelrod. I don't care for or trust Republicans anymore than Democrats, but Republicans are certainly right about one thing, Obama should stop campaigning and start governing

December 2, 2012
3:31 p.m.
justapto says...

If taxing incomes in a progressive way makes you not want to earn more; Then tell me why people buy lottery tickets at an increased rate when the pot goes up????
Dumd. As each percentage of 'NET' income goes up then that part is taxed at an increasewd percentage. The only fair way to do it.
Other than a national tax on goods. Then the underground economy and the drug money finally gets taxed.

December 2, 2012
3:49 p.m.
janesjoys says...

ronzo - Although a few of us "iliterat" Democrats believe that the downfall of this great nation started under that All American Hero, Ronald Reagan, it really isn't worth the time it takes to actually research a subject, type a response and present any facts to the anti Obama/anti Democratic Party writers. Their response and attempts at logic will just make your head spin. Thanks for the effort, though.

December 2, 2012
4:11 p.m.
ronzo says...

bostonredsoxfan: I am not a liberal elitist and I certainly do not believe that I am smarter than anyone else. I did not refer to my statement as data or facts. Why are you calling it something that it is not? The information I quoted is stated in historical records. I do consider myself somewhat knowledgable about history. It is only my opinion about Reagan sleeping through his presidency.
FrankLowe: I did not say that I believe that I am entitled to money that I do not earn or that you earn. Why would you make such a statement? Because that is what you want to think, from reading one paragraph? Maybe you should read again what I stated if it is not clear to you. Exactly where are my words that state that I advocate the threat of force and violence to take property from those earned it, and give it to those who have not?
I am old enough to comment about the economy in the 40's and '50s. I lived through the Eisenhower years when the economy was booming and the marginal income tax rate was over 90% and most of the very wealthy were more than glad to thank America for preserving world peace by helping to win World War II so they could continue their attainment of more wealth by investing in American factories and inventing new businesses. And they were thankful that Americans stood behind their endeavors and worked tirelessly in their factories to help them attain their goals and to help make America a stronger more vibrant nation and a world leader. That is exactly what is not happening in 2012. The very wealthy not only are not interested in investing in America by contributing more financially via income taxes or via building American based businesses that are worked by Americans, but are more interested in abandoning the American way by investing in countries that have no interest in helping America. Regardless of anyone's political ideology, why would an American support that?
What does Valerie Jarret or David Axlerod have anything to do with the history of marginal income tax rates?

December 2, 2012
6:25 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Ronzo, you are right about one thing but because of your age wrong about the rest. You are a democrat from an era where those same democrats would be todays conservatives. The 40s and 50s America was a country of people that wanted a better life for their children and had a respect for themselves and others. Today we have an entitlement attitude. We did not have welfare in the 40s and if we did people would be too proud for a handout. I have two children in the Army, today only 1/10th of 1 percent join the military. Valery Jarret and David Axlerod are the real presidents of this country, not Obama. Funny, Jarrett was born in Iran....

December 2, 2012
6:55 p.m.
ronzo says...

wmarinic: Don't you EVER accuse me of being a Democrat! I AM NOT a Democrat. I am sorry that your children have had to take jobs in the military, our most bloated socialist government entity, because the job situation in this country has been so poor for the last decade. And so please correctly answer - what does Valery Jarret and David Axlerod have anything to do with the history of marginal income tax rates? Dwight David Eisehnower is probably rolling over in his grave now because of those who support the military industrial complex that he hated and those who dismiss his "socialist" practices like building the interstate highway system.

December 2, 2012
7:02 p.m.
wmarincic says...

My children did not "have" to take jobs in the military, they chose to serve their country. Well ronzo, you sure sound like a democrat. Have a nice day.

December 2, 2012
7:06 p.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

ronzo-
Sarcasm: a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language
The emoticon ;) signifies a wink, typically indicating sarcasm.

December 2, 2012
9:07 p.m.
ronzo says...

wmarncic: I am an Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, George HW Bush, Clinton, Obama American. An Independent voter who has voted in every national election since I could when the voting age was 21 yrs. I may have just a little advantage of age, since I have personally experienced much of what you support and have also experienced that which you do not support. But to categorize me as someone who you typify as a person who is against your values, not only saddens me, but also insults me. If you and folks like you would state a personal conclusion about another person based on a few sentences that the person presented at some newspaper or other publication, just demonstrates well - I guess who you are.

December 2, 2012
10:27 p.m.
wmarincic says...

ronzo, you can try the backended insults and that is fine. I'm just an American who born in the 50s have seen the decline of America and it's values. Do I agree with all of the republicans, absolutely not. Do I agree with class warfare, absolutely not. Do I believe that many tax loopholes should be closed, absolutely. Do I believe that somebody should be taxed unfairly because they are successful, absolutely not. And I am not an Obama American, I'm against everything he stands for. Hitler also won an election. Tax and spend are democrat ideas, they use them to buy the votes of many groups of people. I also vote for the best choice as a candidate, I even voted for Clinton his first term, that does not make me an independent, it makes me a conservative that voted for a democrat.

December 2, 2012
10:41 p.m.
ronzo says...

wmarncic: Just a couple of other points since you are so learned. You said: "The 40s and 50s America was a country of people "that" wanted a better life for their children ...." Did you ever attend school and attend an English class? Didn't you learn proper American English? People are not a "that". An inanimate object like a stone is a "that". A person is "who". Correct English is: "America was a country of people "who" wanted a better life.....not "that" wanted a better life". Maybe you need to go back to school? Maybe then you might learn more so that you might better articulate your opinions.
And WELFARE in the 1940's was called RELIEF. And people reluctantly accepted RELIEF then as they do now, because then as now, some people are are desperate for help and a caring society will help. I know what you're thinking. I am an elitist well informed educated person "who" researches as much as I can before I blab opinions.

December 2, 2012
11:13 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Ronzo, thank you, you're arrogance is underwhelming. ;)

December 3, 2012
7:14 a.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

ronzo- At the same time, you have placed punctuation outside quotation marks when it should be placed inside, your use of commas is woefully inadequate (e.g., the word "and" at the beginning of sentence should be followed with a comma, and the list in your last sentence needs commas), and there should be a hyphen in "well-informed." While I concur that wmarincic is regularly guilty of making otulandish, unsubstantiated statements, and that he regularly misuses you're and your (among other things), your rant regarding his grammar is unneccesary, and has nothing to do the the topic of your discussion.

December 3, 2012
8:47 a.m.
wmarincic says...

redsox, thamks, I think. Can we agree on semi regular? Also the "U" comes before the "T" in outlandish. JK LOL.

December 3, 2012
1:29 p.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

Yikes - I proofread that about 15 times, and I still missed it. You're right to call me on regularly. Actually, I should have more accurately said, "occasionally" (and even then, most people on here on guilty of that at least occasionally). You and I may not agree on much, wmarincic, but ronzo was way over the top. Plus, there's that bit about those who live in glass houses. Peace!

December 3, 2012
3 p.m.
wmarincic says...

NP I proofread mine also and I just saw that I wrote "thamks"....

At least we can agree not to disagree...

December 3, 2012
6:37 p.m.
justapto says...

Fortunately for all of us; there are sufficient taxes collected to support Public Education.
Them 3 r's still be impotant!

December 3, 2012
7:30 p.m.
ronzo says...

As a post script to all the rants about tax rates – to: wmarincic, bostonredsoxfan, FrankLowe and others. While human nature may cause some of us to intensely describe our beliefs, it demonstrates that we care about all of us, albeit in different ways. That is the important part of venues like this. If more Americans cared about what goes on in this country and in this world and voiced their beliefs, maybe this nation would be better off as a result. It’s the ones who don’t care or don’t want to get involved - they are the ones who we should be concerned about. Not caring, about what is best for our nation, is a problem that grows greater and greater as each decade passes. Regardless of your ideology, voicing your beliefs, and allowing those beliefs to be heard, is what has made our country the envy of others on this planet

December 3, 2012
7:48 p.m.
wmarincic says...

ronzo, well said.

December 3, 2012
8:55 p.m.
Newsworthy says...

Ronzo, I think a point can be made that, during the prosperous periods mentioned, the heavily-taxed wealthy people took advantage loopholes to retain their wealth. It's rather hard to believe that those people would willingly give up 90% of their income to the government.

The greatest concern to me is how personally all of you take these politics. It mirrors the dysfunction in Congress. Can't we have differing opinions without insulting each other?

December 3, 2012
9:11 p.m.
FrankLowe says...

Very well said Ronzo. I'd rather debate with one whose opinions I disagree with, than try to engage one who has no opinion

December 4, 2012
8:17 a.m.
ronzo says...

Newsworthy: The reason that I posted my first comment about this subject is because I have actual life experience regarding the subject. My father operated a business. While we did not live extravegantly in the 1950's we lived comfortably. As the keeper of our family records, I looked through my Dad's old tax returns. In 1954 his Federal tax rate was 72%. Politically he was a Republican, as were many of his business associates who owned businesses. I do not ever recall any of them complaining about how much they had to give back to the government. It might have had a lot to do with what they dealt with during the great depression and World War II. They were proud Americans very willing to help build the country again after the war. My Dad always talked to us about working hard and giving back. He and others who owned businesses put their families and employees ahead of profit. They appreciated the people who worked for them and compensated them with that appreciation. They gave back to their communities both financially and in other ways, willingly without any fanfare or accolades, sometimes at personal expense. I remember him saying we'll wait another year before I buy another new Buick Roadmaster. My father and his business buddies were more like a Warren Buffett than a Mitt Romney in how they viewed the role of government and their contribution to society. I realize that today's world is very different. But my opinion is that the recent cycle of greed began during the 1980's and gets amplified as each year goes by, as represented by the changes in the highest marginal income tax rates. That's where I was coming from on this subject.

December 4, 2012
1:04 p.m.
albright1 says...

Ronzo,

Looking over the 1954 tax tables, it is interesting to note that the very lowest income bracket (less than $2,000 AGI) paid 20% tax. People earning up to $6,000 paid 26%.

Nowadays, those same earners would pay nothing and in many cases, actually get a check. Everybody had skin in the tax game back then in 1954. They would look critically at where the government was spending money, because it was their money!

December 4, 2012
1:38 p.m.
ronzo says...

albright1: I agree. More people had skin in the game in mid-20th century. But also, $6000 in 1954 is the equivalent of $51,000 in 2012. At that equivalent earning today, the tax rate for married filing joint is about the same as it was in 1954 - 25%. Not sure if anyone in that bracket today would pay no tax plus get a check back.

December 4, 2012
3:08 p.m.
wmarincic says...

I guess it would depend on how many kids they have.

December 4, 2012
5:06 p.m.
albright1 says...

Ronzo....the rate I quoted was for married filers....so the rate for equivalent earnings today would be 15%.... I mention this just for the sake of accuracy.

It's been a long time since I was in a position to even look at the earned income credit but I remember one year that I got some. I wasn't poor, at least as far as I knew. My reaction at the time was...."Seriously???"

December 4, 2012
6:57 p.m.
ronzo says...

albright1: Thanks for the research. So in the end, we all have a life story to tell, regardless of which end of the financial or political spectrum we reside. Some folks have experienced wealth. Some have experienced poverty. Many are in the middle. Wherever you fit in that spectrum does not and should not matter to anyone but you. How you interpret where you are and what you want to do about it is what really matters - at least it does to me,

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