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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 20, 2013/ 10 Adar, 5773

Mourning the mail

By Rekha Basu




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the most confounding pieces of news recently was not the Olympic medalist charged with murder, the giant meteor crashing in Russia or the "Port-a-Potty on water," as a disabled Carnival cruise ship was described by one sorry vacationer. It was that some people are cheering a plan to end Saturday mail delivery.

Cheering? We should be mourning.

For many of us, getting mail is one of the great pleasures of Saturdays. If you work outside the home, then on most days, you're ripping the mail open and scanning it perfunctorily on the fly. But on Saturdays, you can savor it.

It might be the letter from India, the postcard from Spain, the package from an aunt in Florida. It might be the birthday card, the thank-you note, the invitation to dinner. For older people or others who lack online access, what we now call "snail" mail might be the only correspondence, bringing comfort and contact, including with the mail carrier.

Email is convenient, but mail sent through the post office is tactile. The note from the granddaughter in New York, the wedding or graduation announcement, the condolence card, all were touched, sealed and addressed by those whose handwriting they bear, and carried by people, sometimes from great distances.

If it arrives early enough Saturday, there is time to get that check that was in the mail -- the rebate, the rent, the gift -- into the bank. You might actually get to fully read those magazines or newspapers. The Netflix movie might be timed for Saturday pizza and movie night.

Some of the people cheering the end of Saturday mail complain it brings too much junk. Yes, there are unwelcome solicitations, bills, violation and renewal notices. But at least on weekends you have more time to deal with them.

Without mail delivery, Saturdays would be flatter, duller and less productive. But if sentiment were the only reason to continue it, that wouldn't be much of an argument. There are practical reasons too.

In an era of globalization, amid efforts to boost international trade and an unprecedented outsourcing of jobs, scaling back any mail delivery would be counterproductive. Last I checked, some countries had mail deliveries twice a day. America even used to have Sunday mail delivery around Christmastime.

Cutting delivery back would drive customers to other avenues, forcing further cuts and losses to the U.S. Postal Service. It would open the door for private companies to grab more market share, and costs to spike.

Yes, the Postal Service reportedly lost nearly $16 billion in the last fiscal year. But that doesn't mean there is no longer a need for its services. The Nation magazine calls the budget problem "a manufactured crisis," thanks to a 2006 law introduced at the behest of the George W. Bush administration that requires the Postal Service to fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance, at a cost of $5.5 billion per year.

Since that year, the Postal Service says it has cut its 193,000 jobs, consolidated more than 200 mail-processing centers and reduced hours at 13,000 post offices. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe has asked Congress to give the Postal Service permission to run its own health plan for employees and retirees and modify the prefunding mandate. Congress should grant that. But Donahue's claim that the Postal Service has the authority to end Saturday delivery without congressional approval is disputed by members of Congress from both parties, and should be fought.

Labor leaders say ending Saturday delivery would be felt most in rural areas and inner cities, where post offices are already targeted for closing, and would increase mail carriers' workloads the rest of the week. The Postal Service could instead save money, writes New York University professor Steve Hutkins, by reducing its $12 billion worth of outsourcing to private companies and doing some of the work handled by call centers, mail transportation services, retail contract stations and maintenance in house. Others argue postal services should be centralized in retail establishments such as grocery stores to save on running post offices.

Many approaches should be considered, but with the end goal of maintaining the Postal Service's viability and not making it superfluous. Like water or electricity, mail delivery is an essential public service that nothing can replace.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Rekha Basu is a columnist for the Des Moines Register.


Previously:




01/16/13: Flu epidemic exposes gaps in sick-leave policies
12/26/12: Man-ufacturing mass-murders
11/21/12: We all pay for Thanksgiving Day shopping



© 2011, Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service

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