But first . . .

STAMPS

Ralph: ‘I hope Mike Gavaghan enjoys his coil of 100 stamps, but they are not Forever stamps. This page shows that they are sold in quantities of 18 and 20.’

☞ You’re right, though Mike could be forgiven the confusion. His stamps have an American flag, say ‘first-class,’ and carry no denomination. So any sensible person might conclude that – sensibly – the Postal Service has seen the light. But, no, according to the USPS, these are secretly 41-cent stamps that will require additional postage when the rates go up. It’s all designed to add confusion and effort that benefits absolutely no one in any way.

Heck of a job, Potty.

Daniel: ‘I don’t think it’s entirely fair to castigate the USPS for not embracing forever stamps that effectively allow it to borrow at inflation + 0% when it appears there are enough ignorant saps, er, people willing to lend at just a flat 0%. I.e., people who buy stamps they won’t use for a while . . . in effect lending their cash to the USPS for free. A more cynical fellow than me might be suspicious that marketing the forever stamp in books of 20 that were more likely to end up in the same place as all of my missing single socks was intentional. If you use this, please omit my last name. I don’t want my mail ending up forwarded to Bolivia.’

iPHONE

Richard Factor: ‘What’s a music lover to do? You can get a 60GB iPod, but only 8GB in the iPhone? Sure I’ll have room for the Amboy Dukes and Ambrosia. The Beach Boys and Beau Brummels – no problem! But somewhere around Gene Clark I’ll run out of space. Where will I put my Electric Prunes, Heart, Marillion, and Rush? And Zappa? Forget it! A friend has an iPhone. I found it to be clever and beautiful. Its battery life should be no better or worse than any other cell phone. But the ridiculous emphasis on making it so slim has created a set of unnecessary problems, like no room for enough memory and the unbelievably foolish requirement to return it for a new battery, regardless of how long it might last.’

☞ I can live with only a thousand or so songs on my phone, plus email, a speaker, effortless three-way calling, a stop watch, an alarm clock, 8,000 contacts, YouTube, photos, a camera, a calculator, a calendar, a web browser, weather forecasts, ‘visual voice mail,’ Google maps in map or satellite view with driving directions . . . and more. But that’s me.

GIVE THE LADY . . .

Phil: ‘In Chicago, we know that it was Marshall Field who said to give the lady what she wants. Click here.’

☞ Okay. But Wanamaker seemed to have been saying it, too. Click here.

And now . . .

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Are Roberts’ views far out? (‘Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.’) One certainly hopes so! And almost surely they are.

Still, having served as Undersecretary of the Treasury under Reagan and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, he can’t immediately be tagged a kook or a commie.

‘Americans think their danger is terrorists,’ said Roberts [on a radio show recently]. ‘They don’t understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. … The terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism. Americans just aren’t able to perceive that.’

☞ Click either of those links to see where his alarmism is coming from.

Next week: More of your thoughts on Galbraith and SiCKO

 

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