We are in Siler City, North Carolina for Christmas… At Mass this morning, the priest said Jesus was born in a stable with a dirt floor, not a hard wood one — or even some nice linoleum. And that should have given us a clue right there about being caught up in too much materialism… Afterward, I interviewed Cliff Dyer and Heather Keene of Pittsboro, North Carolina. They are engaged and will be married April 30th of next year. Their “honeymoon” will be a two week trip to Guetemala to do humanitarian outreach. “We are concecrating our marriage with an act of service,” said Heather… I also interviewed Raleigh’s David Kalbacker who formerly taught at North Carolina State University. He has, what I think, is an excellent idea to keep the Social Security Fund solvent. He said he “gladly pays” house insurance, health insurance, car insurance… with the hope he doesn’t have to collect on any of them. He said why shouldn’t that be the same for Social Security. That is while everyone pays into Social Security as yet another “insurance,” it should only pay for, say, when someone is debilitated during their lifetime, or theyneed it after retirement. That is, Kalbacker believes in retirment, drawing Social Security should be contingent on income. If a retiree makes, for instance, $70,000 [hypothetical figure] a year, or more, on pensions, stocks, etc., they shouldn’t be eligible to draw from the Fund. Note: For the sake of the less well off, I’m sure Mr. Kalbacker’s idea would probably have pleased the Child who was born in the stable this day.