Going Postal in Washington, D. C.: The USPS, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, Union Busting, and Paving the Road to Privatization

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Here are some questions for you:

– Do you know how the United States Postal Service (USPS) is funded?

– Do you know why the USPS is having such serious financial problems?

– Would the closing of more than 200 postal processing centers and more than 3,000 post offices across this country, eliminating Saturday mail delivery, and cutting more than 100,000 postal jobs be the best way to save the USPS?

– Would slowing down mail delivery help the USPS to take in more revenue?

– What would happen to rural communities if their post offices were closed?

– What do you know about the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006?

– Have you heard about H.R. 1351?

Yes, the USPS is experiencing serious financial problems. I’ve heard on the news and read in the papers that drastic measures must be undertaken in order to save this great American institution. I think that it’s important to understand the causes of those problems and to know what could happen to the US Postal Service unless Congress solves them without severely impacting the institution and the services it provides to Americans.

Josh Eidelson’s Salon article Congress’s war on the post office: The Postal Service faces a threat greater than email or economics: Politics (March 14, 2012) helps provide some information on the issue:

The U.S. Postal Service is at risk of defaulting on healthcare obligations or exceeding its debt limit by the end of the year. Last month, USPS management unveiled a “Path to Profitability” that would eliminate over a hundred thousand jobs, end Saturday service and loosen overnight delivery guarantees. The Postal Service also proposes to shutter thousands of post offices.  “Under the existing laws, the overall financial situation for the Postal Service is poor,” says CFO Joe Corbett.  Republicans have been more dire, and none more so than Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who warned of a “crisis that is bringing USPS to the brink of collapse.”

Listening to Issa, you’d never know that the post office’s immediate crisis is largely of Congress’s own making.  Conservatives aren’t wrong to say that the shift toward electronic mail – what USPS calls “e-diversion” – poses a challenge for the Postal Service’s business model.  (The recent drop-off in mail is also a consequence of the recession-induced drop in advertising.)

But even so, in the first quarter of this fiscal year, the post office would have made an operational profit, if not for a 75-year healthcare “pre-funding” mandate that applies to no other public or private institution in the United States.

Warren Gunnels, aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders, calls that mandate “the poison pill that has hammered the Postal Service … over 80 percent of the Postal Service deficit since that was enacted was entirely due to the pre-funding requirement.”

This death hug was part of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was passed on a voice vote by a lame duck Republican Congress in 2006… 

As reported by CNN, the USPS has claimed that a number of its difficulties were caused BY the federal government “ through a law governing how the agency funds workers’ retirement health benefits.” It has also been reported that prior to 2007—when the mandated prefunding of healthcare benefits began—the Postal Service actually generated a small profit.

The act/law referred to above required that the USPS prefund retiree healthcare benefits for workers for the next 75 years…in just ten years (2007-2016). That means the USPS has to continue to cough up $5.5 billion annually to meet the funding mandate for another five years. No other government entity or agency has been required to do the same by Congress. Why has the Postal Service—an institution that provides valuable services to businesses and to millions of Americans—been singled out?

Allison Kilkenny thinks that the people who are working to destroy the USPS as we know it are motivated by a desire to bust the strongest union in the country and to help pave the road to privatization. She wrote the following in a Truth-out article titled Postal Workers: The Last Union:

The recent attacks against the United States Postal Service (USPS) are more than signs of desperate times – a natural sunset moment for a service rendered archaic by FedEx and UPS. Rather, the Postal Service has been under constant, vicious assault for years from the right, who views this as an epic battle with the goal of finally taking down the strongest union in the country, the second largest employer in the United States (second only to Wal-Mart,) and a means to roll the country ever closer toward the abyss of privatization. The Postal Service, which is older than the Constitution itself, stands at a precipice. If this great institution, which provides one of the oldest, most reliable services in the country, is permitted to fall and Congress kills its great union, then truly no collective bargaining rights, no worker contract, no union will be safe within the United States.

As the USPS spirals toward default, the historically uncontroversial mail service system has suddenly become a hot-button issue. It’s an unlikely organization to inspire such hysteria. The Postal Service isn’t paid for by taxpayer dollars, but rather fully funded by the sale of stamps. It’s easy to forget what a marvel this is – that today, in 2011, one can still mail a letter clear across the country for less than 50 cents. And if the impressiveness of that feat still hasn’t sunk in, attempt this brain exercise: consider what else you can buy for $0.44.

It was only a few years ago that the USPS was considered not only stable, but thriving. The biggest volume in pieces of mail handled by the Postal Service in its 236-year history was in 2006. The second and third busiest years were in 2005 and 2007, respectively. But it was two events: one crafted during the Bush years and another supervised by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa that would cripple this once great institution.

Allison Kilkenny Talks with Sam Seder about the USPS on Countdown (9/9/2011)

Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union, believes that the law would do more than “cripple” the USPS. He believes it was designed “by those people who hate government … to destroy the Postal Service.  And that’s what they did.”

In addition to requiring the Postal Service to prefund retiree healthcare benefits, Josh Eidelson said that the law also limits the institution’s capacity to change and grow with the times: “The new law also restricted the Postal Service’s ability to raise postage rates, or to provide ‘nonpostal services’ that, in an e-diversion era, could be key to its future.”

Matt Taibbi wrote on his Rolling Stone blog that barring the USPS from offering “nonpostal services” means that it can’t “open up a bank, or an internet cafe, or come up with any new entrepreneurial ideas to generate new income, as postal services do in other countries.”

Like Kilkenny, Taibbi thinks that the purpose of the law—pushed by lobbyists—“was to break a public sector union and privatize the mail industry.” Taibbi added, “Post offices also have a huge non-financial impact: In a lot of small towns, the post office is the town, and shutting them down will basically remove the only casual meeting place for people in mountain areas and remote farming villages and so on…This is a classic example of private-sector lobbyists using the government to protect its profits and keep prices inflated.”

From a special report on the USPS post office closings published by Reuters earlier this year:

Some of America’s poorest communities – many of them with spotty broadband Internet coverage – stand to suffer most if the struggling agency moves ahead with plans to shutter thousands of post offices later this year, a Reuters analysis found. Nearly 80 percent of the 3,830 post offices under consideration are in sparsely populated rural areas where poverty rates are higher than the national average, demographic data analyzed by Reuters shows…

The Postal Service is not studying the economic impact on communities where post offices are slated to close, spokesman David Partenheimer said. But in the 3,004 rural communities across 48 states where post offices may close, many residents fear the impact will be pronounced.

About 2.9 million people live in the rural communities where the post office that may close is either the only one or one of two post offices serving their zip code area. For many rural residents, that would translate into longer drives to mail packages, pay bills or buy stamps.

According to Postal Reporter News, in February the USPS “informed tens of thousands of employees that it plans to close mail processing facilities. The decisions are not final. No closings will occur before May 15. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue agreed to that timetable under moratorium proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders to give Congress time to act.” Sanders said the USPS’s plan is “deeply flawed” and that Congress must change it. He said that he expected “comprehensive postal reform legislation to be on the floor of the Senate within the next few weeks.” He added, “At a time when the Postal Service is competing against the instantaneous delivery of information from email and the Internet, slowing down mail delivery service will result in less business and less revenue, and will bring about a death spiral for this institution which is so vitally important for all Americans.”

Sanders continued, “A critical weakness of the current Postal Service plan is that it ignores the onerous financial burden being placed on the Postal Service by $5.5 billion a year in pre-payments for future retiree health benefits. According to the Postal Service inspector general, those payments are no longer necessary because of the $45 billion which that account already has accumulated. The Postal Service needs to be reformed not by massive cuts, but by a new entrepreneurial business model which expands the products and services the post office can sell in the 21st century digital age.”

In the following video, Senator Sanders speaks about ways in which the USPS could be modernized and provide additional services to customers that it doesn’t provide today:

There are other members of Congress like Sanders who are trying to find ways to help save the USPS. One of them is Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts. On April 4, 2011, he—on behalf of himself and Elijah Cummings of Maryland— introduced H.R.1351: United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011. This bill would “amend the provisions of title 5, United States Code, relating to the methodology for calculating the amount of any Postal surplus or supplemental liability under the Civil Service Retirement System, and for other purposes.”

From the NALC FACT SHEET (National Association of Letter Carriers):

Lynch’s bill once again takes a big step toward making sure the Postal Service is treated in a fair and equitable manner, allowing it to overcome the very difficult financial challenges it currently faces. In addition to addressing the CSRS overcharge, H.R. 1351 also deals with the more recent finding regarding another overcharge to the USPS related to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Even so, H.R. 1351 only addresses the CSRS and FERS overcharges and does not repeal the onerous, legally mandated, annual pre-funding payments into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund (PSRHBF)…

H.R. 1351 does not address the legally mandated pre-funding payments into the PSRHBF beyond the FY2011 payment, which costs the USPS $5.5 billion annually. Rather, it simply fixes the massive over-funding to the postal CSRS and FERS accounts. Additional legislation would be necessary to repeal the future scheduled pre-funding payments to the PSRHBF.

Mark Anderson wrote the following in The Daily Cougar last September: “Currently, a 44 cent stamp will get a letter from Houston to New York in two to three days. According to the FedEx website, two-day delivery of a similar letter to the same destination will cost between $20-30 dollars.”

Shock Doctrine at U.S. Postal Service: Is A Manufactured Crisis Behind Push to Privatize? (Democracy Now)

How the Right Wing Destroyed the U.S. Postal Service (Majority Report with Sam Seder)

I wonder if most Americans would prefer to send mail via the USPS—or by FedEx. I wonder if most Americans would like to see our Postal Service privatized. I wonder how many Americans would like to see post offices in their cities and towns shuttered. I wonder how many Americans would like our elected representatives to find solutions to the problems facing the USPS that won’t include drastically reducing the number of postal carriers, post offices, and processing centers in this country–and slowing down the delivery of our mail.


Postal Workers: The Last Union (Truth-out)

Congress’s war on the post office: The Postal Service faces a threat greater than email or economics: Politics (Salon)

Postal Service pleads for help as losses continue (CNN)

Is benefits law dragging down the Postal Service? (CNN)

Don’t Let Business Lobbyists Kill the Post Office (TAIBBLOG)

Privatization of US Postal Service could be costly (The Daily Cougar)

Republicans pushing to privatize USPS (Coloradoan)

Post Office is vital, hamstrung by Congress (Daily Review Atlas)

ALEC/Koch Cabal Pursuing Privatization of the US Postal Service for UPS and FedEx… (Voters legislative Transparency Project)

Special Report: Towns go dark with post office closings (Reuters)

Post office closings may increase rural isolation, economic disparity (Washington Post)

Senate Passes Postal Reform (Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont)

Is Your Post Office Closing? USPS Is Studying Shuttering 3,700 Locations (NPR)

USPS Closings Could be Averted With Senate Bill (Christian Post)

H.R. 6407 (109th): Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

Rain, Snow, Sleet and Congress (New York Times)

Shock Doctrine at U.S. Postal Service: Is a Manufactured Crisis Behind Push Toward Privatization? (Democracy Now)

Sens. Schumer, Gillibrand urge continuation of post office closing moratorium beyond May 15; W. Stockholm, Hailesboro on list (NCNow News)

USPS Postal Service Countdown Clock (Senator Tom Carper, Delaware)

NALC FACT SHEET (National Association of Letter Carriers)

Sen. Sanders Calls Postal Service Plan ‘Deeply Flawed’ (Postal Report News)

Co-sponsors of HR 1351 (PopVox)

So is your post office on the chopping block? The Postal Service released this state-by-state list of retail locations that could be affected.

156 thoughts on “Going Postal in Washington, D. C.: The USPS, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, Union Busting, and Paving the Road to Privatization

  1. Over here, in Sweden, the revolution has already happened in the cities. There áre in practice no post offices, package pickup and posting is done at commerce points (grocery stores ,etc.). The young delivery personnel are equipped with specially designed bicycles (no putt-putts here) for carrying the load of un-adddressed advertisement which are technically not classed as mail. The money aspects have been absorbed gratefully by commercial services, while banks close everywhere. So far there is only one post office, intended for commercial servicing, and one cash bank in the whole of Södermalm, an area with about 200,000 residents and day time employees.

    Good luck, America.

  2. First for disclosure. From 1967 until my sister and I moved out to attend college, the Postal Service was our family’s bread and butter. My dad worked 37 years for them, 36 on graveyard shift. He is now retired. His employment provided us with a very stable livelihood and we never were without the necessities of life. I am grateful for this along with the rest of us.

    That said taking all the family history with this agency aside and looking at this as objectively as possible. Congress allowing the Post Office to move to the edge of collapse before seriously talking about reform is yet one of the many examples of our elected government’s reckless games of brinkmanship. Aside from the obvious cultural association American’s have with their Post Office, it provides our economy with exceptional communication fluidity. Say what some will about the big influx into e-Mail, if the Post Office shut its doors the American economy would collapse within days. Even if half of payments were electronic, imagine half of all bills being locked away from payment. The issue that FEDEX and USPS being able to take over first class mail, even if steller efforts were made by both companies it would be impossible to conjure the infrastructure needed to service this need in less than many years in the future assuming they even possessed the capital to do so. Moreover sending a letter for 45 cents by either of these companies is financially not going to happen.

    Certainly there are exceptions, but considering 200 billion pieces USPS delivers yearly we don’t worry for the most part of the mail being delivered. I have been in countries where the mail delivery was poor and it greatly affects Commerce. Why do business remotely when you cannot be assured your payment or invoice will even arrive. Believe me if you have experienced this you know what I am talking about.

    Another issue is that there exist tough laws to protect the mail you are not afforded with if you send via UPS or Fedex. The federal Government has two Law Enforcement Agencies that handle the mail. The US Postal Inspection Service and the Office of The Inspector General, USPS. Both oversee the integrity of the mail outside and within the USPS. Think your mail is safe at at a private mail service where employees are paid just above minimum wage with no federal oversight or regulation? You would be gravely mistaken.

    Finally, the United States Code provides for emergency measures to be enacted should the USPS come under a major labor unrest, which despite employees being prohibited from taking a general strike, in the event it happened the US Military is selected as the back up. Now, if that is what would be required to restore a fraction of service in the event the workers were not available does anyone seriously believe the private sector, as fragmented as it is, could even possibly take up the task?

    Again, this is mostly congresses making. Sadly it would be congress to fix this accounting trickery that has hampered the USPS ever since. Let’s not allow them to ruin another good part of life in America.

  3. I am currently involved in a project here in So Cal that includes asking 16-19 year-olds a series of questions.

    At the end of the questionaire, I added two questions of my own:

    1. Do you ever wear a watch?

    2. Have you ever licked a stamp?

    3. Have you been to a post office in the past two years?

    Of the 721 teens, the results so far look like this:

    80% don’t ever wear a watch

    75% have never licked a postage stamp

    91% have not been to a post office in this decade.

    In old days I’d have said that the proof is in the pudding.

    Unfortunately, they don’t “do pudding,” either.

  4. Patric,

    One doesn’t have to lick stamps these days. I can’t remember the last time I licked one. They are self-adhesive. I’d suggest you change the wording of Question #2. BTW, I didn’t go to the post office very often when I was a kid.

  5. bettykath,

    The same postal guys who deliver mountains of ads, brochures, etc also have a small pouch for addressed mail.
    Of course there are at least 3 other private firms competing for that service, centrally contracted with large mailers such as bank statements, bills, etc.

    I suggested to one of the young men that they should fix him up with a donkey instead of the bike. Better companionship, I suggested. He did not have time for the idea. Silly me. Harassed young workers have no time for jokes unless it is part óf the job.

  6. USPS is one of the best deals going. Congress, on the other hand, rightly deserves its very low poll numbers.

  7. This is one very good example where the U.S. Congress DID NOT do the work of the people. The USPS is what the best bargains in town and needs every American citizen to work to keep it that way. Congress is doing the bidding of the corporate enemies of the USPS. Vote out all Republicans in this next election or this country is going to be just a memory to us oldsters.

  8. ElaineM,
    Me neither, I thought it was kind of spooky scary, especially the main one downtown. Most of the service windows were closed, views blocked by opalescent glass, and it echoed so terribly at each step, even my small ones.
    You’re not old enough to remember savings stamps and liberty bonds during WW2, I guess.

  9. Without the USPS, many rural locations wil be SOL. This 2006 bill was a blatant anti-union bills in our history. What company would survive with the same pension requirement?
    Great article Elaine!

  10. Does anyone really need an explanation as to why Congress ranked lower than herpes in a recent popularity poll?

  11. USPS is great. My letter carriers’ trucks are wrecks but the mail arrives on time every day. And raf is right about all the rural locations that would be SOL.

  12. This is an important and timely article Elaine and you’ve done a great service to the public by so thoroughly researching it and bringing this scourge of perfidious union busting to light.

    Unfortunately the re-election of Obama will do absolutely nothing to reverse the status quo ante of the ruling class which is to kick the unions while they’re down and ultimately stomp them into a mouldered corpse.

    From their ashes however a new union movement must inexorably be born so long as this peculiarly iniquitous social arrangement know as capitalism divides people into distinct classes with ever widening income gaps.

    Class antagonism is after all the motor of history and so long as it’s the objective interest of the employer to extract the most amount of labor for the least amount of wages it will naturally be the employee’s objective interest to extract the most amount of wages for the least amount of work.

    Res ipsa loquitur

  13. Elaine wonderful piece….. But for this being quasi governmental it would be a Milliken dream….

  14. Elaine,

    Legislation recently passed in the Senate that will help considerably. Of course it is the House that should scare us. I found this on the Senate Bill:

    In its current form, S.1789 protects all post offices from potential closure or consolidation for at least another year.

    It also protects Saturday delivery for two years, expands services to include the shipping of wine and beer, and ends the practice of prepaying employee pension funds, among others.

    According to a 2006 federal law, the USPS is required to prepay employee healthcare and pension benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.

    If passed by the House and signed into law by President Barack Obama, the 21st Century Postal Service Act could return more than $11 billion in overpayments to the USPS and reduce other prepayment responsibilities to $3.5 billion annually.

    More than 25 amendments were also considered during the weeklong debate. Bennet and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., sponsored two of the amendments that were passed and added to the bill, both of which are aimed at protecting rural post offices.

    Among Bennet’s amendments to S.1789 are provisions to expand USPS retail services to include the issuance of Social Security cards and the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

    It also provides rural post offices with an opportunity to obtain a non-paid advocate should closure studies resume at the end of the one-year moratorium extension.

    This post office “crisis” is completely manufactured and is just a naked effort to privatize US mail (and conveniently break a union).

    Let me tell you about the latest kink in Chicago’s parking meter privatization deal done by Daley. Seems as though the contract calls for the city to pay for meters that are out of service when a street is closed for maintenance/re-surfacing or when a street is closed for a summer street fair. I can’t recall the precise figure of the invoice that has been presented to the city but it was more than a “million”. I’m not so crazy about Rahm who seems a little “authoritarian”, but I’ll give him this – he is refusing to pay. I sure hope that works out for us. You may have heard, our finances are in deep doo-doo. And it’s gonna get worse. I hear the teachers are going to strike. Rahm has decided that the school hours are to be extended (1 1/2 hrs?) but has no plan or money with which to compensate the teachers.

  15. Elaine:

    Points well taken.

    And for what it’s worth, I believe we would be better off as a nation, if the government were about half of what it is today.

    But one area I do believe they should manage, is the postal service.

    Not everything that can be privatized, should be.

  16. Curious,

    I had read about the privatizing of Chicago’s parking meters some months ago. I had considered writing a post about it. It’s a truly interesting story about the negative aspects of privatiziation.


    Chicago parking meter company wants more money; mayor balks
    Staff Reporters May 4, 2012
    Chicago Sun-Times

    The private investors who run Chicago’s parking meters are doing better than expected, and now they’re demanding an additional $14 million they say they’re owed under obscure provisions of the wildly unpopular 2008 deal that privatized metered parking and caused rates to soar, records show.

    Disputing the claim, City Hall says Chicago Parking Meters LLC is seeking a “windfall to which it is not entitled.”

    The $14 million bill stems from parking revenues the meter company says it lost when the city took meters out of service last year because of street repairs, festivals and other city-sponsored activities, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    This is the second time in a year that the company has hit City Hall with a claim for a big parking tab. The Emanuel administration already is in arbitration over a $13.5 million claim over free parking that Chicago Parking Meters says it provided to people displaying disabled-parking placards or license plates in 2010.

    That makes the total disputed amount more than $27 million.

    The parking meter company took in more than $80 million from meters across Chicago in 2011, according to documents it filed this week with city officials.

    Chicago Parking Meters’ financial performance last year slightly exceeded projections of Wall Street analysts, who have rated the company a smart investment, said Matthew Hobby, an analyst with the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency.

    For $1.15 billion, paid upfront, the City Council approved a plan championed by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2008 that privatized Chicago’s 36,000 meters for 75 years. In a deal that was widely criticized for selling taxpayers short, Chicago Parking Meters was given the right to keep all meter revenues until 2084. Drivers have since seen sharp increases in parking rates under the deal.

    After leaving office a year ago, Daley, along with his former corporation counsel and two top press aides, went to work for Katten Muchin Rosenmann LLP, the law firm that handled the parking meter deal for the city.

    Since the meter deal took effect, city officials have paid the parking meter company more than $2 million in what they call “true-up adjustments” to make up for parking spaces taken out of service.

    The amount billed for those adjustments skyrocketed in the first nine months of the 2011 budget year, to $14 million — a sum Emanuel is refusing to pay. The company hasn’t submitted its claim for the last three months of the year yet.

  17. Do you know why I hate Republicans?

    Because of crap like this.

    They love the Constitution, though, and yet….once again prove how LITTLE they know or understand it, since the USPS is actually mandated in the Constitution. Do they care? NO! All they care about is privatizing everything and destroying unions. FEDEX uses the USPS to deliver some ot its packages! I’ve had problems with UPS, but NEVER with the post office!

    The US postal service is cheaper and more reliable than any private entity. Small wonder the Republicans hate it. It’s yet one more example of our government actually working.

  18. Elaine,
    The privatization of the meters is all about one thing. Money. Cities are dying for cash and the austerity moves in Congress are designed to ruin the economy. Just like they did to the USPS.

  19. Congressman Issa, I will laugh myself unconscious when you discover what you’ll have to cover out of your budget if you lose franking priveleges. FedEx will not be so budget friendly to you. You will end up taking a bath my friend or you’ll need to sell a boatload of those useless alarms to compensate.

  20. raff, indeed. In the poll people were asked about various things and asked to rate them on a scale. I forget the exact numbers, but it was something like Congress having abut a 9% positive ranking and herpes ranked about 11%. Being staked out on a Fire Ant mound was not one of the questions, or Congress may very well have been ranked lower than that as well.

  21. Even government’s monopoly powers can’t save the USPS. Or Amtrak. Amazing.

    How about a 500% tax on private FedEx and UPS deliveries? Those tickets for double parking just aren’t adding up. How about a $200 annual fee to license an email address? Banning paper routes?

    While we’re at it, perhaps if we ban freezers and refrigerators all the ice man jobs will come back? Can’t easily outsource those to India or China. Think of the headline job numbers! An election is on the way, after all.

    Nothing like government employees whining that their pensions shouldn’t even have to be fully funded. Just kick the can.

  22. I have always liked the USPS and think they work amazingly well. Thank you Elaine for thoroughly presenting an important topic.

  23. puzzling,

    if Congress mandated other corporations to operate under the same business model as they do the USPS, General Motors, Ford, IBM, Microsoft and Wal-Mart would have gone belly up a long time ago. If Congress tried to cram that business model down the throats of big business, what do you think the hue and cry would be like? The Koch brothers would be first in line on the Capitol steps with pitchforks and torches.

    The USPS is very image of the old joke that says, “We have done so much for so long with so little, that we can now do anything with nothing.”

  24. Elaine,

    The details you have provided on the parking meter deal makes a lousy deal into a really ugly story. I thought I wasn’t too fond of Rahm. Now I hope he rips out that law firm’s throat. Any chance that they could be sued for malpractice? A first year law student should have seen that the city needed to be protected from extra charges as a result of street maintenance and summer festivals.

  25. Elaine,

    That parking meter story totally went under my radar. There is nothing about that deal that doesn’t just reek of corruption.

  26. Parking is a private monopoly in Stockholm The ticket ladies go in pairs for protection (the only time a sober Swede is likely to be aggressive), and are dressed like SWAT squads, sans weapons. The attacks have not increased. . Computeized meters have a confusing HUI, which often makes for overpayment.
    But who notices all this when the weather is so cold and plain off pissy in the winter.
    Hooray for May.
    Viva le Roy et ses fasciste politique
    Viva la parkage..

  27. I’d like to add one more brick to the load – did you know that USPS delivers for Fed-Ex and UPS? They have contracts to deliver to rural locations where the cost would be prohibitive for the private carriers!

    Between the destruction of rural service permitted under airline deregulation, the natural drift toward urbanization and the end to postal service we can put a stake through the heart of rural life now. To think of all the money FDR wasted by getting rural America electricity. It was almost as if he wanted them to be successful! Well now we are smarter & its every man for himself, if you are foolish enough to be born in rural areas you don’t deserve nice things no matter how much better off the whole country would be.

  28. I work for the P.O. That deal with Fed Ex was worked out when the PMG was named Henderson. He retired shortly after…and went to be on the Board of Directors of Fed Ex. Why is crap like this legal?

  29. privatization of parking meters is insane. the tax payers paid for the paving of the streets. the dam parking along a public street should be free, we already pay taxes for paving the streets. the problem isnt private sector parking meters, the problem is government thinking it should be able to charge for parking along a public street which has been paid for and maintained with tax payer money.

    The postal service does have problems but isnt this service a Constitutional requirement of government? Wouldnt an amendment be needed to shut it down?

    I dont need Saturday delivery, if people want Saturday delivery make them pay extra for it.

    As far as unions go, the Post Office has long been a patronage program with the winner handing out Post Master-ships in every small town in America.

    Raise the price to send mail $0.05 and be done with it and charge extra for bulk mail or just raise the cost of bulk mail $0.05. The USPS delivers 177 billion pieces of mail annually, a $0.05 increase would yield an additional 8.85 billion annually. End Saturday delivery and close Post Offices in Towns like Clifton, Virginia where they have easy access to 3 other post offices. Consolidate post offices in major metropolitan areas and make some other minor cuts or use new technologies like natural gas to decrease vehicle costs. There are all kinds of things which could be done to decrease expenses without having to get rid of a bunch of people. Let natural attrition rates reduce labor forces.

    This is a tempest in a tea pot. Knee jerk republicans and knee jerk liberals going at it once again to the detriment of the American people. When is it ever going to end?

    What would happen if FEDEX took over is the rates would rise anyway and they would consolidate operations, so why not let the Post Office raise the rates and consolidate and eliminate overlapping offices?

    Everything cant be privatized [although much could be].

    If congress would not allow the PO to raise the price of a stamp so they can make a case for selling the Postal Service to Fedex or UPS, then we should vote them out and replace them with people who would outlaw lobbying and lobbyists.

  30. How Corporate Welfare Nearly Destroyed the Post Office
    By Ben Cohen
    The Daily Beast
    April 27,2012

    If you’re looking for a clear example of how the United States government is used to protect the interests of the rich while leaving the rest of society to suffer the consequences of the free market, look no further than the debacle surrounding the U.S Postal Service.

    For a variety of reasons, the Postal Service is in severe trouble. The business model is somewhat outdated and it is being seriously challenged by the exponential increase in the use of email. However, as Matt Taibbi points out, the U.S Postal Service was in fact slightly profitable before politics and big business played a very large part in its downfall, and was highly competitive with private postal services. He writes:

    “In 2006, in what looks like an attempt to bust the Postal Workers’ Union, George Bush signed into law the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. This law required the Postal Service to pre-fund 100 percent of its entire future obligations for 75 years of health benefits to its employees – and not only do it, but do it within ten years. No other organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its future health benefits.

    “’No one prefunds at more than 30 percent,’ Anthony Vegliante, the U.S. Postal Service’s executive vice president, told reporters last year.

    “The new law forced the postal service to come up with about $5.5 billion a year for the ten years following the bill’s passage. In 2006, before those payments kicked in, the USPS generated a small profit. Not surprisingly, the USPS is now basically broke.

    “The 2006 law also bars the Postal Service from offering ‘nonpostal services,’ which means the USPS can’t, say, open up a bank, or an internet cafe, or come up with any new entrepreneurial ideas to generate new income, as postal services do in other countries.

    “The transparent purpose of this law, which was pushed heavily by industry lobbyists, was to break a public sector union and privatize the mail industry. Before the 2006 act, the postal service did one thing, did it well, and, minus the need to generate profits and bonuses for executives, did it cheaply. It paid for itself and was not a burden to taxpayers.”

    Dismantling a government run entity that actually works and attempting to privatize it was a hallmark of the Bush Administration and the Republicans in general. They tried for years to destroy social security, falsely arguing it was close to insolvency and claiming the only way to save it was by privatizing it and encouraging people to put their money into the stock market (thankfully they failed – just imagine what would have happened if everyone had invested their money before the crash in 2008).

    The Republicans would like to do the same thing to the USPS – not because it doesn’t work, but because there is a way to squeeze more profit out of it for big business. By privatizing an essential service like the post, you would guarantee that prices would go up when the sole motive is making profit. The government runs the Postal Service with the primary objective of providing an actual service. Private businesses are legally obliged to make a profit and will squeeze customers if necessary to increase the bottom line. We’ve seen this played out in the horrific private health insurance market where the industry works to make money, not cover the most people. As a result, the health care industry is massively inefficient at actually providing people health care, and massive efficient at lining its own pockets. There would be no reason to assume any other outcome from the postal service.

    The Republicans have played a clever trick by taking a functioning, profitable government run industry, and restructuring it so that it cannot work. They have then claimed it is in inherently inefficient and led the way in destroying it – all in the name of giving big business a captive market and unlimited profits. This is a classic example of how government is used to promote the interests of the rich, or in lay mans terms, corporate socialism.

  31. eLAINE:

    We have a good deal of socialism and fascism in this country. But then it is almost universally understood that the rich fair better in a socialist economy so I am not sure why this is a surprise.

    I keep saying that if you move toward free markets and deregulation, you will punish the rich harder than government can. When you make them actually stand on their own 2 feet and compete freely, there will be a lot of former rich people who had used government to eliminate competition and evade the necessity of being efficient and using their capital properly.

    If you want to really punish rich people make them earn their money.

    They had a saying at the end of the 19th century: “Rags to riches to rags in 3 generations.”

    Now that is a dynamic system. The rich didnt like it and so started using government to protect their wealth. Been doing it ever since.

  32. This illustrates the contempt of conservatives and their philosophy for what America is–or was–or was supposed to be. They have no sense of, or perhaps even a distaste for, building and being part of a nation or community. They don’t recognize a commonality of needs of a society. Everything is a private for-profit opportunity. They don’t accept that fact that this is a nation, not a corporation. We are a society and as such we are willing to band together and provide certain services for the benefit of us all. From big things like the Hoover Dam to the USPS to Social Security. These are things we have and must continue to provide for each other. They and our roads and police/fire protection are part of “the commons”. Conservatives seem to not understand or want to be a part of our community. Their philosophy dooms America to enslavement by corporations. Is that worse than an “over-sized federal government”? Yes, by a mile. A government CAN be reigned in by the people. A government can be voted out by the people. Not so with coporations. Just because conservatism has made a deal with the devil doesn’t mean we have to go to hell with them.

  33. We had a postal system here in America before we had a Congress.

    The Continental Congress named Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General in 1775. We didn’t even declare our independence from England until a year later (1776), and it wasn’t until 1789 that we established Congress.

    Delivery of the mail is a government service that should NOT have to make a profit anymore than Congress is expected to make a profit.

    Oh yes, the Members of Congress makes lots of profit FOR THEMSELVES — but nowadays they don’t do much good for the rest of us.

    Message to Congress: Leave our Post Office mail delivery alone and get your savings from forbidding Congressional junkets.

  34. I think we could get even bigger savings by forbidding ALL Congressional travel. Reimbursement for “essential” trips could be put up for an annual vote by a district’s or state’s voters. If the voters vote not to reimburse, the legislator has to pay for the trip out of his or her own pocket. That way we’ll see just how “essential” most of these trips are.

    Plus Rule Two: No “staffers” or “spouses” get to go on those trips, and meals are reimbursed at the same rate we pay for homeless people to eat in shelters, which probably comes to about $5.00 per meal.

    Now, THAT is how we’ll get some real savings — plus the legislators would be available for more face time (at their Congressional offices) with their constituents.

  35. Bron, are you serious? We have had 40 years of deregulation here in the US and the rich have gotten much richer and the rest fallen further behind. Meanwhile the marginally socialistic nations of Europe and Scandinavia currently have less poverty, more income equity, greater social mobility and a higher standard of living for the vast majority of their population. If your mistaken belief were correct how would you explain that?

  36. Bron:
    – – – – –
    They had a saying at the end of the 19th century: “Rags to riches to rags in 3 generations.” ???
    – – – – –

    That’s a cute saying but the Rockefellers, Fords, etc. are still doing fine — haven’t noticed any of them in the breadlines looking for handouts.

    The rich NOW know how to hold onto and protect their money from taxation and depletion. If they don’t, they have the financial means to hire lawyers to do it for them.

    The Golden Age of the late 1800s was great for the wealthy (had cheap labor to do the work for them), and the wealthy are hoping to produce that Age for themselves again.

  37. FIREFLY:

    real wages of workers doubled in the 19th century. Can you say the same about the 20th century?

    A cup of coffee and doughnut or bagel cost $0.10 in 1940. Have real wages increased at the same rate as in the 19th century? So that adjusting for inflation the coffee and bagel would cost the equivalent of $0.05?

    That is what happened in the 19th century. Buying power increased 200%. A worker paying $0.25 for dinner in 1840 paid $0.125 in 1890 in equivalent terms.

  38. frank:

    there are still hundreds of thousands of regulations on the books across all industries. Getting rid of a handful isnt going to do anything and quite possibly it would make things worse if the regulations were not peeled back slowly and with more thought than with which they were made.

  39. Bron:

    The best economic times in this country were the 40 or 50 years following FDR’s New Deal. The great American middle class came to be during those years, and even the rich did well.

    I think you’ve been reading too many flyers from the right-wing universe.

    The top marginal tax rate during those 40-50 years was much, much higher than it is now, and there were many more regulations on Wall St. investment houses and on the banks. There were no financial meltdowns in that period like the ones that occurred once the wealthy right-wingers managed to do away with many of those protective regulations — regulations that protected American taxpayers from the greedy, dishonest brokers and bankers.

    You can see a chart of the “Top Marginal Income, Corporate Tax Rates: 1916-2010” at: http://tinyurl.com/3pjnton

  40. http://www.salon.com/2012/05/07/europes_austerity_revolt/singleton/

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Europe’s austerity revolt

    The message from France and Greece this weekend was clear. Will President Obama and Republicans listen?

    By Robert Reich

    Who’s an economy for? Voters in France and Greece have made it clear it’s not for the bond traders.

    Referring to his own electoral woes, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote Monday in an article in the conservative Daily Telegraph: “When people think about the economy they don’t see it through the dry numbers of the deficit figures, trade balances or inflation forecasts — but instead the things that make the difference between a life that’s worth living and a daily grind that drags them down.”

    Cameron, whose own economic policies have worsened the daily grind dragging down most Brits, may be sobered by what happened over the weekend in France and Greece – as well as his own poll numbers. Britain’s conservatives have been taking a beating.

    In truth, the choice isn’t simply between budget-cutting austerity, on the one hand, and growth and jobs on the other.

    It’s really a question of timing. And it’s the same issue on this side of the pond. If government slices spending too early, when unemployment is high and growth is slowing, it makes the debt situation far worse.

    That’s because public spending is a critical component of total demand. If demand is already lagging, spending cuts further slow the economy – and thereby increase the size of the public debt relative to the size of the overall economy.

    You end up with the worst of both worlds – a growing ratio of debt to the gross domestic product, coupled with high unemployment and a public that’s furious about losing safety nets when they’re most needed.

    The proper sequence is for government to keep spending until jobs and growth are restored, and only then to take out the budget axe.

    If Hollande’s new government pushes Angela Merkel in this direction, he’ll end up saving the euro and, ironically, the jobs of many conservative leaders throughout Europe – including Merkel and Cameron.

    But he also has an important audience in the United States, where Republicans are trying to sell a toxic blend of trickle-down supply-side economics (tax cuts on the rich and on corporations) and austerity for everyone else (government spending cuts). That’s exactly the opposite of what’s needed now.

    Yes, America has a long-term budget deficit that’s scary. So does Europe. But the first priority in America and in Europe must be growth and jobs. That means rejecting austerity economics for now, while at the same time demanding that corporations and the rich pay their fair share of the cost of keeping everyone else afloat.

    President Obama and the Democrats should set a clear trigger — say, 6 percent unemployment and two quarters of growth greater than 3 percent — before whacking the budget deficit.

    And they should set that trigger now, during the election, so the public can give them a mandate on Election Day to delay the “sequestration” cuts (now scheduled to begin next year) until that trigger is met. (end of Reich article)

  41. Bron:

    During the 1800s and early 1900s, many Americans (maybe 25-30% of them) lived on farms. Of those who were employed in factories, many lived miserable, dangerous lives — the workers were not protected by safety regulations nor were they protected by a financial safety net if they lost a hand or an arm in one of the factory machines. Workers in that period had no paid vacations, no compensated sick leave, no pensions, and were paid a wage that would barely support a family in any standard we would consider acceptable today. It was not until the labor movement used the collective strength of its members to push protective legislation through Congress that the quality of their lives improved.

    In the 40-50 years following the New Deal, American workers were protected by New Deal legislation and regulations that provided a safer workplace, a decent wage, unemployment insurance, sick pay and a pension plus Social Security for their old age. None of those protections were common in your favorite Age.

    Yeah, let’s go back to the days of unsafe workplaces like the sweat shops and coal mines, so the wealthy can be more wealthy.

    You first.

  42. “Conservatives seem to not understand or want to be a part of our community. Their philosophy dooms America to enslavement by corporations. Is that worse than an “over-sized federal government”? Yes, by a mile. A government CAN be reigned in by the people. A government can be voted out by the people. Not so with coporations. Just because conservatism has made a deal with the devil doesn’t mean we have to go to hell with them.” (rcampbell)

    Well said.

  43. Citizen, “It also provides rural post offices with an opportunity to obtain a non-paid advocate should closure studies resume at the end of the one-year moratorium extension.”

    What’s the purpose of the non-paid advocate? A powerless person from the community for everyone to complain to? If it were someone with some power, it would a paid crony appointment. But maybe I’ve got it wrong.
    UPS makes my deliveries to my po.
    FedEx uses contractors to deliver here. The contract is FedEx written, take it or leave it.
    UPS is Teamsters union. FedEx isn’t.
    Parking meters? We don’t have even one in this county, nor in the county where my mother lived.
    I thought capitalism was a profit/loss system. Took me a long time to realize that corporation got the profit and the taxpayer got the loss.

  44. I wonder what will become of the $$$$ socked away in the pre-funding mandate if the USPS goes under? Is that the money the govt. will pony up to UPS, FedEx or ??? for establishing a new postal program? Is this part of the bigger plan to rid the country of govt. infrastructure in privatize all social functions? Could we see something like Wal-Mail?

  45. “this comments section sounds an awful lot like the comments section of Pravda.”

    Congratulations for a superbly stupid statement that works on many levels. First on the fact that Pravda under the current Russian Government is a mouthpiece for the runaway capitalism that is in effect in Russia. Secondly, for its’ mimicking of a cliche that was tired 60 years ago regarding what makes one a “communist”. Thirdly, for exposing in 13 words how uninformed you real are and that no doubt comes from the fact that your reading comprehension is minimal. You wouldn’t know a communist if it they you, but then anyone like you who would gladly march to strains of “Deutschland Uber Alles”, sees communists everywhere.

  46. Mike

    you call me stupid..ok. Let me see:

    Russia as capitalistic? Are you serious? What part of command and control have they freed up? They are far, FAR from capitalistic.

    Tired cliche? Ok, let’s find some quotes from the comments section:

    “Conservatives seem to not understand or want to be a part of our community” (key word is community)

    “Privatization” is a word the plutocrats use when they want to plunder the 99% some more.” (*key word is private as in private property)

    “We are a society and as such we are willing to band together and provide certain services for the benefit of us all”

    So we have the typical tired cliches of community and how we are one for all and all for one. The only tired cliche missing is “from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs”.

    My father is a quasi-communist, so I have already had all these debates with him. What I tell him as I will now tell you is that it is senseless to come to these forums and both advocate for a stronger government AND to advocate for control over corporations. A stronger government will always and everywhere exert its will against the very people it governs. It may do this through the exertion of influence of the military, corporations or some other special interest, but it always has and always will.

    Corporations have too much power today. I give you that. But so do unions and farmers and the elderly and gun owners. All using their money, power and influence to get what they want. All possible by an ever growing, ever power central government. All the more likely by a obscenely massive treasury. Reign in the central government and you reign in the ability of outsiders to influence. Make corporations stand on their two feet…YES! I agree. Just as I agree that farmers and unions and gun owners should all stand on their two feet.

    But who will protect us from these monsters, I can hear the cry now.

    Well…who the hell is protecting you now???????????

    I bet we would have many more things we could agree on if you just drop the tone done a couple of decimals (I guess I could take some of my own medicine).

    Alas, perhaps I am asking a lot.

  47. FIREFLY:

    Ok, believe what you want. Real wages doubled in the 19th century without the labor movement.

    Real wages are down in the 20th century. Most of the regulations Hoover and Roosevelt enacted were unnecessary. Harding had a depression in 1920 and cut government spending and lowered taxes, end of depression.

    The tax code in the 1950’s has little relevance today since there were very few people making over 400k. 400k in the 50’s is worth well north of 2 million dollars today.

  48. Nick,
    Point to one society which in reality functions as your ideal would.

    Neither can BRON. Go have a beer together. No, don’t, they would not have any strawmen like you left to defeat. They would be left with silently contemplating their own lack of solutions which are “shovel-ready”.

  49. Bron:

    Whatever you may think about the relevance of “real wages” in the 1800s, there was no unemployment insurance, no compensation for work-related accidents that ended one’s working life, no sick pay, and no pensions; so, workers had to provide for all those eventualities themselves and, trust me, life was pretty grim for most factory and industrial workers in the 1800s and early 1900s.

    The Depression of the 1920s was nothing like the Great Depression of the 1930s. Herbert Hoover adopted the same strategy Harding had used, and things just got worse and worse and worse and worse.

    Next you’ll be telling us Harding was a great president. Good luck with that!

    BTW, in case you hadn’t noticed, Congress HAS been cutting spending (state aid, for one) and lowering taxes for years, but we don’t seem to be out of the recession, do we?

  50. MikeS, Blouise and other sane people,
    I write my insame and beautful pieces, and nobody applauds.
    Nobody says got jump in the lake.

    Am thinking of doing a BRON. Just to get some shit thrown at me. Not complaining or whining, just wondering how such talent can be ignored (mild hyperbole)

  51. For those debating when capitalists had it best, may I contribute the following:
    It was when James Madison told then that the purpose of the Constitution was “to protect the opulent from the rest”.

  52. “just wondering how such talent can be ignored (mild hyperbole)” (id707)

    ‘Cause everybody’s too busy showing off their own talent ;)

  53. Blouise,
    I said the same chastising myself last evening. But, the sheer bravado, the weird leaps, the stupid constipated text……where else can that be found? Nowhere, thank god—besides you all is just jealous (my imitation of Pogo).

    If there were more display I think I would be satisfied. But reading other rants with Bron tire my patience.
    And my POVs are special, call’em asinine, but call’em.

    No more whining for now.

    I don’t expect anybody to lick my ear, but a wow sometime would be nice. How else can I relax and stop my oral diarrhea?
    Cheers, and thanks.
    Tru’dat, someone would have commented your words.
    Gotta get my anti-runs medicine out.

  54. Blouise,
    I suspect that you all have an open chat line so MikeS can say: “I’m tired. Can you take IDiot707 for us? He’s such a pain.”

    I mean you are the creme de la creme, and GeneH says you talk about us commoners at “your” place. Just snooping and showing off. Just had my 14th birthday. OK, like 12, but am trying to impress you.

  55. “My father is a quasi-communist, so I have already had all these debates with him.”

    Your father is probably a middle-of-the-road liberal ad you his rebellious son. All of your quotations, except for Marx have nothing to do with communists. How do I know, well because I have known many communists of all types (yes there are different types) and I have as little use for them as I do for the tea bagger types. In listening to them and in debating them though I know what their beliefs are and there is no one active in American politics that holds beliefs anywhere near that

    “Corporations have too much power today. I give you that. But so do unions and farmers and the elderly and gun owners. All using their money, power and influence to get what they want.”

    Unions and farmers have little power today. Union membership has dropped drastically since the 70’s. The only farming interests that get heard are the ones from agribusiness. The elderly have the Republican party constantly trying to cut back on the benefits they worked their whole life for. The NRA has power, but that power comes from the arms industry that represents the money behind them, that fuels the fear of the gun owners who make up the membership. Face it, the problems in this country come from the super wealthy and the Corporations they own. They are corrupting the systems and enforcing socialism for the rich and social Darwinism for the rest of the people like yourself I presume.

  56. Blouise,
    One last and you will be free of this gadfly.
    Did see this by me at Dan Savage thread? Magnificent.
    Wait, you haven’t read it yet. Don’t run. Oh, dear.
    Well anyway.

    I am proud to be insane but ashamed of the many persecutions our religions’ separate insanities have caused all over the world.

    I am proud to be an American, but ashamed of the many wars that my country has pursued since the given purposes were obvious lies., to which I assented.

    I am proud to be a world citizen, of whatever nation, but ashamed that I, craven as the rest, have not forced the powerful, by our simple numbers, to cease and desist their evils.

    I am proud to stand alone, “strong” although fearful of the man standing next to me, for he will certainly SYG-kill me in his wisdom.

    I am proud to let my govenment in its wisdom, deprive me slowly of my socialization so that I dare not in solidarity communicate as man has done since before mindcontrol was discovered.

    Lastly, I am proud to persecute those weaker and nearest me while affecting real or feigned disgust at the useless creatures who hunger for jobs as the Republican cohort draw down all job creating investment so as to defeat Obama—–and then enslave us all.

    Most especially I am proud of the eternal leaders, who confirm my god-given male dominace rights and their use since creation to chattelize and debase the female animals who serve us, and to ignore the animals’ claim to being also god’s children.

    I am proud of many more things, but the labors of my listeners should be spared to other needed issues., as they are many. My leaders tell me so.

    Lastly, I am proud to be at JT’s as here even insanity, hypocrisy, moral turpitude and diverse other infirmaties are permitted those of such high quality as myself. I will now reconfirm my oath of allegiance.

    “Our insanity, which is eternal, grant me a continuing power to be inspired by the weaknesses of my next, and use them to create more inequity and misery in our world, so as to bring a rapid demise of all life, as our leaders and God says we should, and to bring out a joint halleluja in praise of the golden “Baal of progress” in returning to a proto-human state. Acchooo!!!………………Sorry, I meant Amen.

    I thank my next “Think of the Children”, and thanks to God who guides us both.

    “I’m proud to be a Christian, but ashamed of the hate-mongering that passed for religion in so much of the world.” by “Think of the Children”..

  57. “I write my insame and beautful pieces, and nobody applauds.
    Nobody says got jump in the lake.”

    “Just wondering how such talent can be ignored (mild hyperbole)”


    We like having you around and you are now a regular, but sometimes you go off in so many expository tangents that it is difficult to follow the line of your reasoning, much less respond. You yourself even call some of your pieces insane. Now people who’ve been here a while know that for better or worse, I at times have revealed much about myself, perhaps more than was needed and/or interesting. If I have crossed that line people have been kind enough to just ignore it, sound familiar?

    I may be wrong, but I think it shows in your writing, that you think that behind the scenes all the regulars are communicating with each other. There really is less communication than you might expect. The guest bloggers occasionally exchange E Mails, but that is usually about behind the scenes issues at the blog and almost never about people who aren’t guest bloggers, except in times of sadness for certain long timers. I the immortal words of Gertrude Stein, in the respect that you view a blog undertone vis-a-vis the “Ins” and the “Outs” –
    “There is not there, there”.

    If all I did was congratulate people on the perspicacity of their comments, than I would bore the hell out of people and spend too much of my life commenting here. Chill, you’re one of us, just as Bron is, though I find your views much more amenable even though Bron is also a good person. I personally define “good” and “bad” people by their ability to have empathy for their fellow humans.

  58. “In the immortal words of Gertrude Stein, in the respect that you view a blog undertone exists vis-a-vis the “Ins” and the “Outs” –
    “There is no there, there”.

    I hate when I blow a punch line.

  59. firefly:

    “there was no unemployment insurance, no compensation for work-related accidents that ended one’s working life, no sick pay, and no pensions; so, workers had to provide for all those eventualities themselves. . .”

    yes, they were called mutual aid societies and worked pretty well from what I have read about them.

    “The Depression of the 1920s was nothing like the Great Depression of the 1930s. Herbert Hoover adopted the same strategy Harding had used, and things just got worse and worse and worse and worse.”

    Hoover actually did a good many things and handed Roosevelt a mess. Granted Franklin made it worse but Hoover played a very large part. Just like the idiot Bush did with TARP which gave Obama some moral and intellectual cover to do his idiot part.

    I dont blame Obama for everything and you shouldnt blame FDR, Hoover deserves a good deal of credit for screwing our granparents and great grandparents. And we are still feeling the intellectual screwing Keynes gave us.

    Keynes was British after all and I understand the Brits were big on Rum, Buggery and the Lash. The only thing Keynes didnt do was make us a Mojito.

  60. firefly:

    “BTW, in case you hadn’t noticed, Congress HAS been cutting spending (state aid, for one) and lowering taxes for years, but we don’t seem to be out of the recession, do we?”

    Do you call spending 3-5 trillion dollars in the last 2-3 years cutting spending?
    How does that work?

    Oh and Paul Ryans budget is about 3.3 trillion and the Pres’s is about 3.5 trillion. We are going down unless we cut spending. At this point we probably ought to raise taxes 2-5% on everyone but only if there are commitments to serious budget cuts and a balanced budget amendment. Enough borrowing from every Tom, Dick and Hui.

  61. Bron:

    “you shouldnt blame FDR” ???

    What ever made you think I “blame” FDR? I respect and am grateful for FDR.

  62. Speaking of working peoples’ conditions in the 19th vs. 20th century, let’s not forget that unions were basically illegal until the Flint Sit Down Strike of 1927.

    Ironic how far the working class in the US has been stomped backwards under the Iron Heel deregulation era started by Regan as now in the 21st century unions are being outlawed again circa WI & IN.

    What an utter fraud & sham the notion of free market capitalism has proven to be, especially since the jackboots of militarism have not only bankrupted the economy but have grotesquely undermined civil liberties.

    Congrats to those contributors here who’ve concluded that voting for the “lesser evil” this November this election is still casting a vote for evil.

  63. Congress just wants to downsize the government and they want to get rid of the USPS and say they downsized the government by 500,000 employes, but what they won’t tell the public is that they didn’t save a penny.

  64. cb, you nailed it. The post office and Medicare/Medicaid could be run for many decades, if not centuries, for the amount of money we have spent on the misadventures in the middle east. In the process, we managed to make a lot of people who disliked and distrusted us, hate us with a white heat. Good job there, military-industrial complex.

  65. This country was populated by millions of people in the 17th century living communally. Then things changed.

    The Pilgrims were among the first permanent settlers. They came as indentured to a corporation that demanded they devote 5 days a week for the benefit of the corporation, one day for themselves and one day for worship. Not all of those on the Mayflower were Pilgrims, those wanting to worship their own way. Many were “strangers” put there by the corporate sponsors. The Pilgrims paid for their passage many times over they their debt was cleared.

    Although the Pilgrims were more tolerant than the Puritans concerning those those not sharing their religious views, both groups kicked out those whose views differed.

    And so it continues.

  66. This man “gets it”. Those who will personally gain the most, or who work for those who will gain, by privatization, are trying to shatter the Postal Service, destroy the unions, and create general chaos ,as he said. When the USPS, its unions, etc, fall, God above help the rest of the poor workers in the US. Collective bargaining gains trickle down into other work places. But kill the golden geese, the cash cows, such as the Postal Service, and Social Security, and a great source of easy billions is gone, too.

    I am constantly amazed, as an employee of the USPS, how efficient and timely it really is, for the low costs. Sure, we can be tweaked, and should be. Other companies realize they need to close stores, consolidate hubs, etc, but they don’t need approval to do so.

    Many countries the size of some of our smallest states charge multiple times what we charge for a letter!!!

    Thank you for a very reasonable article.

  67. Oh, Elaine, sorry for calling you a guy! I saw a picture of a man at the top that I thought was the author!
    Forgive me? :)

  68. MikeS,

    Sincere thanks for the feedback.
    I have asked myself what I seek. I see not many being accorded slicks. Some, no names mentioned, are often accorded them. But so high is not my ambition.

    I could appeal to my intention to get you guys and girls to loosen up a bit and dip your toes in the personal level as you and I have done (others also hace).
    But it is my ego, and I beat it most evenings after my excursions here, which steers me all too much.

    That said; I DO NOT mean my pieces are in any way insane, that is being routinely self-deprecatory, a common problem of my own, but also a national culturally enforced characteristic here in Sweden. It is knówn under the name of jäntelagen.
    I actually feel that some of my stuff is well done.
    Witness my ironic parody which begins:

    “I am proud to be insane but ashamed of the many persecutions our religions’ separate insanities have caused all over the world.

    I am proud to be an American, but ashamed of the many wars that my country has pursued since the given purposes were obvious lies., to which I assented.

    I am proud to be a world citizen, of whatever nation, but ashamed that I, craven as the rest, have not forced the powerful, by our simple numbers, to cease and desist their evils.——————-etc.

    The whole was based on following a comment made by another person here who made a similar declaration.

    As for private discussions, it was GeneH who “informed” me, as a part of berating me, that I was a subject of active discussion among yourselves away from the blog. I took that as Gospel. Who could I turn to seek confirmation?
    Now you say it is not so. Who shall I believe?

    I have chosen to not go the paranoid route but the one when I was the union’s representative on the company board of directors, ie that the company directors will discuss issues without my presence, so be it. In Sweden we say: “You can’t prevent people from having a sauna together.” No, you can’t.

  69. Excellent article however the writer misses the main point that will be the undoing of the Postal Service much as the American “middle class”. The Article mentions “unionized” but omits “over-unionized”.

    As a “unbiased” Union Representative for several decades let me point out the obvious. One organization cannot expect to endure having 4 different Unions, with 4 different sets of work rules, contracts, local agreements, grievance & arbitration procedures, “paid on-the-clock” time for union activities. Coupled with this you have several Management Organizations for Postmasters and Supervisors which are in effect quasi Unions.

    Now each of the Unions/Organizations have a vested interest in protecting and seeking outcomes in Legislation that only protects THEIR individual members even if those protections are at the expense of other postal employees and/or the long term survival of the Postal Service.

    President Lincoln said it best: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

    Each Postal Union and Management Association has 6 figured, double pensioned, and benefited perks of office that grow with tenure. Each union has its staffs at the National Level to the Local Levels making 6 figures on down, along with a double pension in many cases as well.

    The end result is the leaders of these Unions have a “self interested” case to perpetuate their positions and Union in the short term at the expense of the Postal Service in the long term.

    You cannot get these Unions and Associations to act together or form one plan in opposition to the onslaught of Congressman Issa and he knows it and is playing it to his advantage.

    Proof of the above is the silence of the other Government Unions who will be next on the hit list after the Postal Service is addressed by the right. Reason being the leadership of the other Government Unions with their double pensions, 6 figure salaries, and perks also see their personal advantage to stay in shadows and hopefully long enough for a change in Congress, or the additional time will allow them a higher paid retirement package.

    You will see no impassioned words or actions, let alone unity, coming from any Postal Union National Leader, only having protests at the Local Levels so as not to endanger their personal soft-landing(s) in the event of needing some Washington DC connections for their continued personal career should things go south for the Postal Service.

    Sadly, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin

    Rep. Issa & Ross will supply the rope but it is the lack of unity and purpose that will place the noose around the Postal Service.

  70. Elaine, unfortunately, there has already been an alternative to the Postal Service. It was called the American Letter Mail Company that started in 1844 by Lysander Spooner. When postage stamps soared to 19 cents then, Spooner started his company. He lowered the price to 6 cents and the government got pissed and had no choice but to lower the cost of stamps, getting as low as 3 cents in 1851, which is why Spooner was called “the father of the 3 cent stamp”. Then Spooner’s company was hit with a bunch of lawsuits and forced him to fold. Then the USPS had the monopoly on mail again. You can’t mess with the almighty government. Being scared to death of private companies forming to compete with the USPS is exactly why a law was passed that now states that you cannot compete with the USPS—-it is against the law now to offer mail service for the same rate as or lower than the Federal government. But where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government can have a monopoly on mail service? Nowhere.

    Read about Spooner here:

    The point of my post is this: We don’t need the government for hardly anything, and they know it. It is exactly the reason they pass laws that make competition with them illegal. Private companies can [and have done] better. Spooner was a real American hero and no one mentions him or gives him credit today [let alone has heard of him]. I wonder if Elaine has.

    My stance on the USPS having hard times is this: who gives a two cent fuck? The government made it AGAINST THE LAW to compete with them and offer better, cheaper service. It fills my heart with glee when the government steps in like the bullies they are and makes laws prohibiting private citizens to offer better service than them, and then they STILL fail even when they have a monopoly on it. God damn that makes me proud of my country when the government is forced to admit they are COMPLETE FAILURES even when ONLY THEY [by law] are allowed to offer the service. The USPS facing hard times is actually a victory for the American people—but hardly no one realizes it. It means the government has FAILED at their OWN game and own rules.

    Doesn’t that make anyone here happy?

  71. Hooray for Larry and Spooner,
    I too once believed in the miracles of private industry, and then I learned to read.
    OT History: There was a dentist (yes) who used radio to communicate between Washington,DC and Baltimore to demonstrate his invention and get funds from Congress. Congress in its wisdom denied him funding and the world had to wait until Marconi came along.

  72. Larry:

    Lysander Spooner was an anarchist who had some good ideas, but he was an anarchist nevertheless. Call me a moderate libertarian if you will but some small amount of government is clearly required for protection of individual rights. I think it is utter nonsense to have private courts and a private military. And every road cannot be a toll road. But there are many things which could be privatized and easily, the post office is one but it is a Constitutional requirement. There are plenty of competitors to the USPS.

    I usually dont agree with anyone here but I am not beyond believing that Fedex, UPS and other private carriers have lobbied for the elimination of the Postal Service to improve their bottom line. If the Post Office is self supporting [within normal industry standards, in regard to retiree funding mandates] then why shouldnt it be allowed to continue?

    The feds have a monopoly on the Military.

    By the way a stamp is the best deal in town and my postman is a great guy, he brings me checks and always has a good word when we talk. What is not to love about the postal service? I look forward to the mail every day because you never know what is going to be in the mailbox. For $0.44 you cannot beat the USPS and they really do deliver in all but the most severe weather.

  73. Larry,
    In Sweden we have had private competition to the goverment postal system for over 20 years. As previously mentioned, the law requiring the postal service to provide a money handling function to aid rural customers, etc had to be channged

    The lack of post offices are no longer mourned. I’ve forgotten what they look like—-other than they were so antiquy and moldy. The mail still is delivered each weekday.

    Odd for an allleged socialist country. The socialist spooks are booing.

    And I who thought the USA was dynamic. The only dynamicism I’ve noticed is new ways to wage war and suppress citizens. (It was kinda slow-moving here)

  74. Bron,

    In our privatized and deregulated Socialistic state of Sweden, we pay ten USD a gallon for gas, and a stamp costs three times yours, with privatized competition (or is it a cartel?).
    And don’t ssk about package shipment prices.

    As for social changes, I got an email from Centre for Progress, (who arre they?)with statistics on demographics in my home state. They started off by noting that 45 percent of the 18 and under were children of color.

    Here in Sweden, where Södertalje city, has more Iraqi immigrants than the USA (some 5 years ago). The mayor was invited to address a Congressional committee.

    Is our world changing? Is yours?

  75. Bron,

    “I think it is utter nonsense to have private courts and a private military.”

    I’d say a good portion of our military is now privatized. Do we even know how many private military contractors there are in Iraq and Afghanistan–as well as other places around the world?

  76. On the subject of Govt. pensions, to educate all the people that believe that postal employees will be getting some “huge” payouts in their retirement years…as of 12/31/1983, the Govt. sponsored civil service retirement system (CSRS) was discontinued, for employees that still fall under CSRS to get the maximum pension, you have to work for 41years,and 11 months, there is a penalty, of 2% for every year under that, and many employees are unable to work that long, contrary to public belief, most current jobs in USPS are extremely physically demanding. I digress, in other words, no more govt. sponsored retirement plan. In 1984 the govt. created the federal employee retirement system (FERS) the new plan has three components, social security,(which is due to all American workers except CSRS covered employees who are not allowed to pay into social security, thanks to Ronald Reagan, who called it “double dipping” even though civilians who get a company sponsored retirement plan are still eligible to pay into, and collect social security when they retire) a 401K, and a very small postal payment totally funded by the employee. There are NO “huge” retirements paid to ANY postal employees, even those employees in CSRS. Did any of you know that? I currently have 28+years in USPS, once a year they send me a print out of what I will get when I retire, the last one said that I will get $1100. a month, out of that will come taxes, and premiums for my medical ins. and life ins. when all is said and done, I will receive about $500 monthly. Just like everyone else, my 401k was decimated in the recession, and I received another printout that said I could get $547 monthly (pretax), additionally, if the republicans get control, they have vowed to do away with social security…Could anyone be expected to live on this “huge” govt. pension of $1647 (pretax, pre-health,life ins.) per month? So I guess what I am trying to say, is unless you know what you are talking about, it might be better if you kept your baseless, uninformed, uneducated, and incorrect opinions, where they belong, with all of the other republican lies floating around. P.S. If you want to talk about huge pensions, take a look at the same congressman, and senators who WILL receive huge payouts, not to mention health care for the rest of their lives paid for by you and I, that want to reduce the “bloated” pensions of working people.

  77. SMom –

    Of course the Postal Union leadership is backing Obama. And that’s why they are doomed.

    Anybody who hasn’t yet figured out that the Democratic Party is part of the problem that’s undermined working people over the last 30 years instead of the solution that they imagine is delusional.

    The fact is the US is a One Party State that simply has 2 Factions which bicker over the best way to transfer wealth from the bottom to the top.

    On everything unpopular to working people there is a remarkable consistency of bipartisan consensus: Wars, NAFTA, more wars, more odious trade agreements, repeal of Glass-Steagall, Bank bailouts, bankruptcy reform, tort reform, etc.

    The 1996 Telecommunications Act, thanks to Clinton, consolidated 80% of the news media into the hands of just 7 companies and paved the way for scourges like Faux News and Murdoch’s control of many American Newspapers.

    Only because of Clinton and his big business bootlickers were the laws abolished that allowed the Wall Street Swindlers to ruin the economy.

    Only because of Democrats was $750 billion handed over to crooked banksters with virtually zero accountability.

    In fact the most draconian civil liberties laws in the 20th century were passed thanks to Clinton after the OK. City bombing and are the heart of the Patriot Act. Bush only consolidated it with an extra paragraph and both were of course rammed through only because of the participation of the Democrats.

    The very worst thing for working people are of course wars because their labor gets converted into profits for arms makers and the workers’ children are the first to be slaughtered. The Democrats, historically the party of the slaveholders, never prevented a single war but did manage to prosecute every single major war in the 20th century.

    Their legacy continues in the 21st century with a virtually perpetual war that squanders $2 billion a week during a depression while every drop of fuel used in Afghanistan enriches whoever charges the Pentagon $400 per every gallon that runs in every vehicle, warship and aircraft: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=1&oq=%24400+per+gallon&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGHP_enUS415US416&q=400+per+gallon+gas+&gs_upl=0l0l0l5905lllllllllll0&aqi=g2s1&pbx=1

    Why would anybody but the 1% give a vote of confidence to somebody who continues to prosecute probably the most mindless & longest war in American history, against more brown people, in one of the poorest countries on earth?

    Obama doesn’t deserve the vote of working people but sadly he’ll get tens of millions thanks only to the most sophisticated propaganda machine in human history — one that Goebbels’s would have been proud of.

  78. Karl, I see you detest the democrats but don’t you think the job killer Romney will be worse for the unions? All my union member friends think so. The 1% chose Romney over Santorum in the primaries and will continue to support him. Romney is rich, and he is their candidate.

  79. I have one other question for you, Karl. Why are the republicans trying to disenfranchise and suppress the vote of those without the means to get a government sponsored id?

  80. I do not understand why taxpayers pay for the health insurance or pensions for ANY ELECTED officials. They run for office and hold office only by the will of voters — they are NOT employees.

    I think it is right to provide health insurance and pensions for government employees but NOT for elected officials — and that means no more taxpayer-funded health insurance or pensions for any Members of Congress and/or the president of the United States.

    Let elected officials go out and shop for their own health insurance and pension plans AND pay for it themselves!

    Think of the money we can save.

    And then we won’t need to dismantle our postal system.

  81. SMom: I thought I made clear it’s a one party election with 2 bickering factions that serve primarily the 1% of Banksters, stock market swindlers, war profiteers and hideous oil companies like BP & Halliburton.

    I detest the democrats to be sure but I utterly despise the republicans like grim death.

    No, I’ll be joining Professor Turley and 80 million other eligible voters this election by abstaining. It’s not that we 80 million don’t vote rather we WON’T vote.

    If the choice is between 2 evils I won’t vote for evil.

    Res ipsa loquitur

  82. Karl, There will be a lot of other people that don’t want to abstain that are being forced to abstain because of the new voter id laws. A lot of people have worked hard for the right to vote and it is being taken away. I would rather fight that battle and help people vote than tell them to say home. How do know Prof. Turley is abstaining? Has he signed your pledge?

  83. France has a voter participation rate of 80%. The US would have an extraordinary year if the rate got to 60%.

  84. Karl, Do you know if he is abstaining on the Kane – Allen senate race, too, or just the presidential race?

  85. Karl, We, women, have not hade the right to vote that long like you guys. I think we need to excercise it to keep the rights we have. That war on women is real no matter what the gop tells you.

  86. Elaine M
    In response to your question, I believe I have seen in an opinion piece a budget line item where the body count of contractors was given. That would be theater consilidated figures, not program-wise. That’s all I can offer.

  87. id707,

    You’re a sweetheart. You know it and I know it and no one else’s opinion matters to us on that subject.

    Anyone who sticks with this blog has an ego … a big one.

    It’s a salon of sorts for the exchange of ideas and sometimes a saloon complete with brawls. Bird watchers soon learn to get out of the Biker Bar when the shit starts flying. They wait in the salon calmly discussing other matters with like minded birds while sipping tea which they occasionally snort out their noses all over their keyboard!

  88. “Of course the Postal Union leadership is backing Obama. And that’s why they are doomed.”

    So what pray tell is your immediate solution that we citizens can use in the face of this doom?

  89. Bob,
    “Could anyone be expected to live on this “huge” govt. pension of $1647 (pretax, pre-health,life ins.) per month?”

    Thanks for the info. I’m really surpised that the pension is so low. For the “good” news. It is possible to live on $1647/month. I do it. You have to give some stuff up though.

  90. Blouise,
    Don’t know to what I owe the honor, but could not come at a better time nor from a better source.
    The whole bit was appropriately outrageous, considering the receiver.

  91. Abstaining is dropping out of the political process. Voting for a party other than the two-headed one is a way of staying in the fray and voicing objection to the status quo. There are already enough people voting none of the above by not showing up. We need more people taking positive action by voting for what they want even if they are unlikely to get it.

    Check out the Green Party at http://www.gp.org/. Jill Stein is the most likely candidate but there are others also campaigning for the spot: Roseanne Barr, Kent Mesplay and Harley Mikkelson. The GP convention is being held in Baltimore MD July 12-15.

    If you don’t like the GP platform, google another party and check them out.

  92. SMom:

    Kane & Allen didn’t engineer what in Turley’s opinion is the greatest undermining of the US Constitution in the Republic’s history so I’m sure if he’s eligible he’ll be backing the Democrat as he undoubtedly has in every election since he was of age.

    He’s not abstaining from electoral politics per se, it’s just that he cannot as an ethical Constitutional Lawyer repeat his vote for Obama this November.

  93. “I know he’s abstaining because nobody sane can publish scathing idictments like this:”


    Perhaps I’m not sane but I’ve published articles like this:



    And I intend to vote for Barack Obama. I fully understand why some people will refuse to vote for him and have said that I would vote for another if there was another party that had a chance of wining more than 10% of the vote. There isn’t such a party, nor is there enough of a widespread movement that a discernible protest vote would influence anything. In my opinion, by your standards insane, there is a better chance of keeping women protected; social security and medicare/medicaid safe; preventing further warfare; creating jobs for Americans, reviving the economy; and most importantly reestablishing the “Rule of Law” under the Democrats, even though they too are under the corporate thumb. They are for the most part centrist, or centrist right. The Republicans on the other hand, are in general unashamedly radical right wingers, with some bordering on downright fascists. There is a difference between centrist corporatists, Warren Buffett for instance, and “Batshit Crazy” Right Wingers such as the Koch Brothers. You might not make that distinction because you are entwined in a doctrinaire political view and to me any one so entwined in any political philosophy is the real insane one. It is not about the politics/economics or any other “ism”. It should be all about freedom, the rule of law, equality before the law and the promotion of all people’s general welfare. Sometimes, of necessity to protect innocent average people living their lives, it is about voting for the lesser of two evils. Anyway, that is my “insane” view.

  94. Outstanding work, Elaine. This is yet another situation in which we see the ugly heads of ALEC and the Koch family.

  95. Karl, I am very critical of Obama and always have been although not on this blog as he is always under siege here. I am still voting for him and the issue with the post office gives me another reason to vote for him. Any middle class person should feel threatened by the republican desire for privatization.

  96. Bron said…

    “There are plenty of competitors to the USPS.”

    Not for FIRST CLASS mail there isn’t. The “competitors” you mentioned mostly deliever PACKAGES. There is NO first class mail competition. There is a law against it.

  97. Bron said:

    “some small amount of government is clearly required for protection of individual rights.”

    Give examples.

    Spooner was an individual anarchist. He had an interesting view of the Constitution, claiming that it could only be applied to all if all signed it [which I disagree with] but his views on government and natural law were spot on. He was also correct that the South committed no treason in their secession in 1861. For the most part I agree with just about everything he said.

  98. SMom:

    Obama will only seal the fate of the Post Office.

    Foreign policy is always an extension of domestic policy.

    If he was kicking down doors in Iraq and is now vaporizing wedding ceremonies in the Af/Pak region the shuttering of post offices at home is as easy as arresting people on their lawns for videoing police stops and as inexorable as toxins appearing regularly for years to come in the fisheries of the Gulf Coast.



    You’re comparing apples to oranges.

    There’s an enormous difference between a not so famous retired union local president bashing Obama and then turning around and voting for him — compared to a world famous preeminent Constitutional Lawyer & Scholar arguing in Foreign Affairs Magazine & the LA Times that Obama ranks as the most perfidious under-miner of over 2 centuries Constitutional Jurisprudence since…. the last torturerer occupying the White House.

    According to Turley Bush was considered to be the worst eroder of Constitutional Civil Protections in the Nation’s history, but Bush’s status of “worst” ended the night holder made that infamous Northwestern speech where now the state acts as judge, jury and executioner as the grinning bootlickers of impending fascism cheered him on like sycophants of the one party state were living in now — and have seen before in history.

    Nobody in his position can publish the idea that Obama is worse than Bush at upholding this country’s founding legal principles and then cast a vote for him.

    Won’t happen, cannot happen, as those principles are considered too inviolate for a man of principles to endorse by casting a vote for somebody he just made crystal clear was the Constitution’s preeminent gravedigger.

  99. Karl, “Foreign policy is always an extension of domestic policy”. Disagree on that. Look at LBJ’s record……….Does the “War on Poverty” mean anything to you?

  100. Outstanding article, especially in light of all the misinformation out there. Those who seek to destroy USPS yell “taxpayer bailout,” but, actually, by overfunding both retirement programs, aggressively prefunding future retiree health benefits and paying more than its fair share of OWCP & military retirement costs, the Postal Service has been bailing out Congress, OPM, other government agencies, the Treasury and — ultimately — the taxpayers, for a long time now.

  101. “compared to a world famous preeminent Constitutional Lawyer & Scholar arguing in Foreign Affairs Magazine & the LA Times that Obama ranks as the most perfidious under-miner of over 2 centuries Constitutional Jurisprudence since…. the last torturerer occupying the White House.”


    You’re right JT has his reputation and his ideals to uphold. I have actually written about that in comments many times through the years to differentiate the difference between JT taking a public stand and anyone (me) taking a public stand. Yet I really am not interested in predicting whether or not he will vote for someone for President. Why is that true? Because being in his position as a leader in trying to return this country to constitutional values, he would be undermining his cause and his work to adopt positions on who he is voting for, that is obvious.

    However, what you are skating around is you used your hypothesis on who JT is voting for as a backup for your own opinion. That was disingenuous don’t you think? This is especially true since no one here knows, or can know who JT is voting for and by your response to me you understand that.

    However, your implication is clearly that no one who believes strongly in the
    “Rule of Law” could be sane and vote for Obama. Well I don’t know who you truly are, but in my life I’ve been for the “Rule of Law” ever since I watched the Army/McCarthy Hearings 57 years ago. Nevertheless, I am voting for Obama, for the reasons I outlined. One point of clarification just in case you were referring to me when you wrote:

    “There’s an enormous difference between a not so famous retired union local president bashing Obama and then turning around and voting for him”

    While I did run for President of my radical Civil Service Union Local in 1969, I came in third, though I did beat the Trotskyites by a fair amount of votes, considering they had an organization and I didn’t. I’ve never made the claim that I was a Union President, though I have said that it was the aftermath of that campaign that made me realize that I wanted nothing to do with being a politician.

  102. Fate of Postal Service Awaits Action in House
    May 1, 2012

    WASHINGTON — Despite Senate approval of a bill to help the debt-ridden Postal Service, thousands of post offices across the country still face closings beginning in two weeks if the House has not completed work on its version of the legislation.

    The Senate passed a bill to overhaul the Postal Service last week. But legislation has yet to come up for a vote in the House, and lawmakers there do not appear to be in a hurry to proceed despite a May 15 deadline set by the Postal Service before it begins closing post offices.

    “The May 15 moratorium deadline was manufactured by senators opposed to legitimate postal reform,” said Ali M. Ahmad, a spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service. “It has never had a meaningful purpose in advancing efforts to help the Postal Service.”

    Facing billions of dollars in debt and losing an average of $36 million a day this year, the Postal Service plans to close 3,700 post offices, or 12 percent of them. It would also close 250 mail processing centers, or about half of them, and reduce its work force by nearly 20 percent, or 100,000 people.

    Facing billions of dollars in debt and losing an average of $36 million a day this year, the Postal Service plans to close 3,700 post offices, or 12 percent of them. It would also close 250 mail processing centers, or about half of them, and reduce its work force by nearly 20 percent, or 100,000 people.

    The Postal Service said it would delay the planned consolidation of mail processing centers during the election season.

    Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, agreed to hold off on closings until mid-May to give Congress time to work on legislation to address the agency’s growing debt. The agency has the authority to close facilities without the approval of Congress.

    “We are continuing to explore options,” said Sue Brennan, a Postal Service spokeswoman.

    On Tuesday, a group of senators who co-sponsored the Senate legislation called on House leaders to bring the postal overhaul bill to the floor for a vote. The co-sponsors include Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut; Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, both Republicans; and Senator Thomas R. Carper, Democrat of Delaware.

    “The Postal Service’s financial crisis will likely come to a head in the next few months,” the senators said in a letter. “Without legislation, the Postal Service will not be able to make payments that are due and will likely be forced to slash services. We fear that the resulting degradation of mail service will further drive away postal customers, only hastening the loss of postal revenue, the accelerating contraction of mail processing and mail-related industry, and further loss of associated jobs.”

    The senators also sent a letter on Tuesday to the postmaster general, asking that the Postal Service delay closing post offices until legislation is completed. The Postal Service did not respond to the letter, but Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, denounced it, saying the senators were seeking to protect post offices in their states.

  103. Darrell Issa Goes Postal, Job-Killing Retiree Bill Moves to the States
    by Mary Bottari — September 30, 2011

    Darrell Issa is going postal. In the name of “Saving the Post Office,” the head of the House Government Oversight Committee is ready to knock off 200,000 jobs and put the U.S. Postal Service, founded in 1775, on the path to oblivion. President Obama’s rescue plan is only slightly better — 80,000 people might lose their jobs.

    The bipartisan eagerness to sink the Postal Service has Ben Franklin, the first Postmaster General under the Continental Congress, rolling in his grave.
    The Original Job Creator

    For me, the attack on the post office is personal. My daughter wouldn’t be around if my father hadn’t met my mom while working at Philadelphia’s central post office in the depths of the last Great Depression. Back in the dark days of the 1930’s, Postal Service jobs kept millions of extended families and communities afloat.

    With 570,000 good postal jobs in America, things are not so different today. The Postal Service not only provides secure high-wage jobs, it is key to providing high-quality, low-cost services to hundreds of thousands of businesses across America.

    “We are the original ‘job creators’,” says Ron Berg proudly, a Wisconsin postal worker who delivers to 497 small businesses and homes rain or shine.

    So why is Issa threatening to reopen collective bargaining agreements to allow for massive layoffs at the worst possible time, and create a special commission to close thousands of delivery centers and post offices across the nation? When you plant a poison pill, you have to convince people to swallow.
    The Poison Pill

    Keep in mind that the Postal Service does not take one dime of taxpayer money. It is an independent agency authorized by the U.S. Constitution. The 2008 Wall Street economic meltdown has hurt. Less economic activity in America means less mail. Email and Facebook have taken a toll as well. But the post office could weather these hard times if it were not for a poison pill passed by a lame-duck Republican Congress in 2006.

    The so-called “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006” required the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits of future retirees, a 75-year liability over a 10-year period. Yup, that’s right — prepayment for postal employees that have not even been born yet. Contrary to what Issa claims, the Postal Service is the only federal agency or private business under this onerous obligation.

    The requirement costs the Postal Services $5.5 billion a year, about the amount the economic downturn is costing the post office. Without the prefunding requirement, the Postal Service would have broken even financially despite mail volume declines. With it, however, the Postal Service is moving toward default — a deliberately manufactured crisis that could give the privatizers and profiteers in Congress an opportunity to “restructure” America’s oldest independent public service.
    Shock Doctrine for the USPS

    Creating a crisis to kill a public service is classic “shock doctrine,” a trick learned from old Milton Friedman who saw every economic crisis, real or manufactured, as an “opportunity” to advance a free-market, privatization agenda.

    “We are not broke. This is a crisis created by powerful politicians who want to privatize the Postal Service. We will hear the word ‘bailout’ but I say bull,” says postal carrier Berg. Or as consumer advocate Ralph Nader puts it: “The post office is being pushed to the cliff, into the abyss. The ultimate goal is shrinkage — continual shrinkage and private businesses pick up the cream.”

    Private mail carriers only deliver to a fraction of the American population, at a higher cost. The small West Virginia town of West Liberty is so desperate to keep its post office open, that it recently bought the post office building and offered the U.S. Postal Service a free lease.

  104. SMom:

    On the contrary — The war on poverty was about as successful as the war on Vietnam.

    Johnson eradicated about as much poverty in America as he eradicated Viet Cong in Indochina.

    Both wars were abysmal failures.

    That’s why the beneficiaries of the war on poverty burned their cities down 4 years later in 1968, the same year ironically as the Tet Offensive which proved the beginning of the end of the cruelest of the many wars prosecuted by the Democrats over the last 100 years.

  105. Mike:

    There’s rules of law and rules of logic and one need not be a constitutional lawyer nor a philosophy major to figure out that somebody as principled as Turley is simply never going to go out of his way to portray Obama as the most historic gravedigger of the Constitution to date… and then turn around and vote for him.

  106. karl, Johnson made it a national concern along with voting rights. The Voting Rights Act is a land mark piece of legislation.

  107. Blouise,
    Can you explain your first sentence to me? Particularly the word “sweetheart” Might be whatever, as such terms current nuances lie in deep darkness from here.

  108. Karl, MikeS, SwM et al,

    If we vote for Obama, we are either one step closer to revolution or one closer to eventual freeing of the majority of Americans. A vote for a Republicana is of coourse a step into hell.

    In the times of the Dust Bowl, they were forced to vote with their very bodies, taking them to California.
    Now we’ve got better choices. Take them.

    Or get yourself a truck and a visa to a refugee camp in Canada. BTW, model T’s are hard to come by today.

  109. Bloomberg reports that almost two-thirds of private-sector job growth in the past five decades came with Democrats in the White House.

    “The BGOV Barometer shows that since Democrat John F. Kennedy took office in January 1961, NON-government payrolls in the U.S. swelled by almost 42 million jobs under Democrats, compared with 24 million for Republican presidents… Democrats hold the edge though they occupied the Oval Office for 23 years since Kennedy’s inauguration, compared with 28 for the Republicans.”

    – – – – – – –

    The differences between the Democrats in power and the Republicans in power are subtle but they ARE there.

  110. Firefly,
    Given ýour point, Firefly, is there any analysis on what kind of jobs were made under the different Presidants in regard to their party? Don’t rush off to find any, just wondering over if you think the question might be relevant.

  111. SMom:

    Re: LBJ

    Johnson was responsible for the slaughter of over a million Vietnamese people so to grant ex-slaves the right to vote for one of those 2 parties that serve primarily the 1% a full century after their chains were removed deserves maybe a yawn in the grand scheme of things.

    The vast majority of the earth’s inhabitants — poor brown women — if they were given a chance to learn an honest account of Johnson’s legacy and his criminal prosecution & genocidal escalation of the Vietnam War they would have little choice but to conclude he was one of the 20th century’s biggest mass murderers.

    Millions didn’t march in NYC, the Capitol & the Pentagon throughout the 60’s chanting: “Hey, Hey, LBJ — How Many Kids Did You Kill Today” for nothing you know.

    You’d think a Swarthmore Mom of all people would recognize that before praising a southern baptist swine like LBJ.

    You know what Malcolm X said about Johnson and the Voting Rights Act? “You don’t stick a knife in my back then pull it out half way and call it progress.”

  112. Karl, You said previously that a president that had a bad foreign policy also had to have a bad domestic policy. I brought up Johnson as an example of how that might not be true. I still think the Civil Rights Act was a good thing.

  113. idealist707:

    In answer to your question about “what kind of jobs were made”: No, I don’t have any statistics on that but I would say (based on my own recollection) that until the George W. Bush years, jobs were good jobs and not part-time, no-benefits jobs.

  114. 3 Big Lies At the Heart of Republican Attacks On the Post Office:
    House Republicans are aiming to dismantle the postal service, but their plans hinge on a few tall tales they’ve sold the American public.
    By Josh Eidelson
    September 22, 2011

    In nine months in office, the new Republican House majority has amply proven the emptiness of its early promises: to create jobs, run government more like a business and respect small-town America. But there’s no better object lesson in Republicans’ real priorities than their bid to end the Postal Service as we know it.

    The United States Postal Service (USPS) transports hundreds of billions of pieces of mail a year to addresses everywhere in the United States. It does so with no government subsidies – if you don’t use the postal service, you don’t pay for it. Now, like the US economy, the USPS faces a crisis brought on by Republican policies, which Republicans insist only more right-wing policies can solve. USPS has informed Congress that it can’t pay $5.5 billion due to a federal retiree health fund September 30, raising prospects of default. Republicans, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, are demanding layoffs and service cuts. Here’s how the Republican plan – burning the Postal Service to save it – contradicts the stories Republicans tell us about themselves.

    1. Republicans are Demanding More Unemployment

    Every month brings a new round of Republican press releases announcing that the latest anemic job growth shows the failure of Obama’s extreme liberalism – even as the numbers are worsened by the ongoing decline in public sector employment. Republicans are ordering up more job-killing, pushing legislation (with the postmaster’s support) that would shred the no-layoff language in the four unions’ contracts and allow for 100,000 pink slips (on top of tens of thousands set to retire and not be replaced). At a hearing last year, Issa told the postmaster that USPS has “more or less a third more people than you need” on payroll.

    Those layoffs would be particularly damaging for the groups that disproportionately get hired at the post office: African Americans and military veterans. The Postal Service has a multi-decade policy of preferential hiring for veterans. While USPS has been quick to say such preferences would insulate veterans from layoffs, unions retort that if entire post offices are closed, everyone who works there loses their jobs. “If you lay off 100,000 individuals, at least 25 to 30,000 will be veterans,” says American Postal Workers Union (APWU) president Cliff Guffey.

    North Carolina A & T State University professor Philip Rubio points out that USPS is “at the hub of a 1.3 trillion dollar mail industry,” which increases the damage to the overall economy if mail service is limited or compromised.

    So far the vocal House Republicans have been adamant about seeing USPS shrink and its workers’ protections shredded. Unions and USPS advocates have suggested a range of reforms to address the budget challenge: allowing USPS to mail alcohol; expanding the range of government functions post offices can perform; letting the cost of some forms of mail rise faster than inflation; removing potentially illegal business discounts. But the largest, and simplest, would be to undo an unfair mandate a Republican Congress placed on the Post Office in 2006.

  115. Yes SMOM, some people believe that when a white Texan southern baptist mass murderer pulls the knife half way out of the American Black’s back it is progress.

  116. The Truth About the U.S. Postal Service
    By Jim Hightower

    What does 50 cents buy these days? Not a cuppa joe, a pack of gum or a newspaper. But you can get a steal of deal for a 50-cent piece: a first-class stamp. Plus a nickel in change.

    Each day, six days a week, letter carriers traverse 4 million miles toting an average of 563 million pieces of mail, reaching the very doorsteps of our individual homes and workplaces in every single community in America. From the gated enclaves and penthouses of the uber-wealthy to the inner-city ghettos and rural colonias of America’s poorest families, the U.S. Postal Service literally delivers. All for 45 cents. The USPS is an unmatched bargain, a civic treasure, a genuine public good that links all people and communities into one nation.

    So, naturally, it must be destroyed.

    For the past several months, the laissez-fairyland blogosphere, assorted corporate front groups, a howling pack of congressional right-wingers and a bunch of lazy mass media sources have been pounding out a steadily rising drumbeat to warn that our postal service faces impending doom. It’s “broke,” they exclaim; USPS “nears collapse”; it’s “a full-blown financial crisis!”

    These gloomsayers claim the national mail agency is bogged down with too many overpaid workers and costly brick-and-mortar facilities, so it can’t keep up with the instant messaging of Internet services and such nimble corporate competitors as FedEx. Thus, say these contrivers of their own conventional wisdom, the Postal Service is unprofitable and is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in losses. Wrong.

    Since 1971, the postal service has not taken a dime from taxpayers. All of its operations — including the remarkable convenience of 32,000 local post offices — are paid for by peddling stamps and other products.

    The privatizers squawk that USPS has gone some $13 billion in the hole during the past four years — a private corporation would go broke with that record! (Actually, private corporations tend to go to Washington rather than go broke, getting taxpayer bailouts to cover their losses.) The Postal Service is NOT broke. Indeed, in those four years of loudly deplored “losses,” the service actually produced a $700 million operational profit (despite the worst economy since the Great Depression).

    What’s going on here? Right-wing sabotage of USPS financing, that’s what.

    n 2006, the Bush White House and Congress whacked the post office with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act — an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who’ll retire during the next 75 years. Yes, that includes employees who’re not yet born!

    No other agency and no corporation has to do this. Worse, this ridiculous law demands that USPS fully fund this seven-decade burden by 2016. Imagine the shrieks of outrage if Congress tried to slap FedEx or other private firms with such an onerous requirement.

    This politically motivated mandate is costing the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year — money taken right out of postage revenue that could be going to services. That’s the real source of the “financial crisis” squeezing America’s post offices.

    In addition, due to a 40-year-old accounting error, the federal Office of Personnel Management has overcharged the post office by as much as $80 billion for payments into the Civil Service Retirement System. This means that USPS has had billions of its sales dollars erroneously diverted into the treasury. Restore the agency’s access to its own postage money, and the impending “collapse” goes away.

  117. USPS to Cut Hours, Not Close Post Offices
    May 9, 2012

    After 10 months of angst and outrage that spanned from rural Montana to Capitol Hill, the U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that the 3,700 post offices targeted in May for closing will remain open.

    Instead, USPS plans to reduce the hours of operation at 13,000 rural post offices from a full eight-hour day to between two and six open hours per day, a move that the struggling mail service claims will save about $500 million per year.

    “This is a win-win,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said at a news conference Wednesday. “The bottom line is that any rural community that wants to retain their post office will be doing that.”

    Under the new plan, about 9,000 current full-time postal employees will be reduced to part time and lose their benefits after the offices they work at are put got to two to four open hours per day.

    Another 4,000 full-time employees will see their hours reduced to part-time, but will retain their benefits. These workers will be at post offices whose hours are reduced to six hours per day.

    “If we can shrink the labor cost we can keep the building open, that’s not hard to do, and ensure that customers have access,” Donahoe said.

    Even though many post offices will have vastly reduced operating hours, people will still be able to access their P.O. boxes all day.

    “We think this is the responsible thing to do,” Donahoe said. “Any company that listens to their customers would come up with a good solution like this.”

    But House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who has co-sponsored a postal reform bill in the House, said today’s plan only addresses a small fraction of the Postal Service’s massive budget shortfall. Rural post offices that will be impacted by the plan account for less than one-eighth of the $5 billion USPS spends each year on operating post offices, Issa said in a statement.

    “To achieve real savings creating long-term solvency, the Postal Service needs to focus on consolidation in more populated areas where the greatest opportunities for cost reduction exist,” Issa said.

  118. Whose Side Are They On?
    The GOP’s Continuing War on Government Workers
    (This article by first appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

    New, Very Bad Deals

    Postal workers learned exactly what House GOP leaders had in mind for us last June, when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, unveiled his postal “reform” bill, H.R. 2309, which would:

    * Force the USPS to cut $3 billion from its retail and processing network over the next two years;

    * Nullify our negotiated protection against layoffs;

    * Give a “solvency authority” the power to reject negotiated contracts it considers too costly;

    * Increase employees’ costs for healthcare and life insurance, and

    * Eliminate the right to bargain over these crucial benefits.

  119. Karl F.

    Interesting you use the same Malcolm X quote twice.
    One could have hoped for more.
    Sincerely and friendly, I wonder if you have any other evidence that the Civil Rights Voting Act was indeed a stab in the back of the black man. I, unlike SwM have no knowledge of it.
    I support you, within my knowledge, on your assessment of Vietnam, not based on my marching or those in Sweden, but on Ellsberg’s book “Secrets”. He had been a veteran Marine officer, had been in the paddies and camps in Vietnam, and saw if all
    from the beginning in the Pentagon. He received instead of his chief the first Tonkin Bay messages. So his words weigh a lot with me.

    But please tell me why you condemn LBJ voting rights act.

    For myself, based on the “who benefits” criterion, he was one of those who planned the JFK assassination. We’ll see what Baker’s Bush book reveals. Bushy Sr was a mysterious man on that day. That book chapter alone should give all Americans and all humans for that matter, the creeps and the heebie-jeebies.

  120. Idealist: I used the malcom X quote only once and then a paraphrase of it again only because it’s such a damned good quote.

    Lets put this LBJ matter to rest once & for all.

    There’s little dispute he fits all the criteria of an international war criminal guilty of genocide. The question is was he responsible for the civil rights act?

    The answer is NO insofaras, like most victories won by the masses, it’s not the generosity of liberal politicians that make them do progressive acts but rather the pressure from the masses in the streets, in this case the millions who descended on the South and organized Freedom Rides and mass marches fighting off not only attacks from ignorant crackers but police dogs, water cannons & billy clubs.

    The point is without that mass action and the enormous political pressure it created LBJ wouldn’t have lifted a finger for civil rights.

  121. KarlF
    That matter of not lifting a finger is in accord with Malisha, who mentioned a case where a Governor said he did not have the power to do something, and she said it was clear that he DID, but WOULD NOT use his power unless it was for those equally powerful.

    The power of the demonstrations were powerful enough to force LBJ.
    Your pont would seem logical and the events did raise the question cha we appease and still portect ourselves from black progress. . The point remaining is how do we get the power to force change. Suggestions???

    My niece advised that the 49% children of color in NC does not give her concern, “as long as all contribute”.

  122. Eliminate the Postal Service?

    How about:

    Get rid of the FED!

    “And yet, everything we know about organizations with that kind of authority, without over-sight, or any external check or balance, tells us that they cannot possibly work well. Just as econ-omy-wide central planners lack the incentives and information to direct the allocation of productive resources, monetary planners lack the incentives and information to make efficient decisions about open-market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Fed simply does not know the “optimal” supply of money or the “optimal” intervention in the banking system; no one does. Add the standard problems of bureaucracy—waste, corruption, slack, and other forms of inefficiency well known to students of public administration—and it becomes increasingly difficult to justify control of the monetary system by a single bureaucracy.
    4 This is especially true when the good in question is money, the only good that exchanges against all other goods, meaning the good in which all prices are quoted. Mismanagement of the money supply not only affects the general price level, but distorts the relative prices of different goods and industries, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to weigh the benefits and costs of various forms of ac-tion, leading to malinvestment, waste, and stagnation. Price inflation rewards debtors while pun-ishing savers, just as artificially low interest rates reward homeowners while punishing renters. Instead, market forces should determine levels of borrowing and saving, owning and renting, and entrepreneurial activity. Put differently, the monetary system is so important that it cannot be en-trusted to a government agency—even a scientifically distinguished, nominally independent, prestigious organization like the Federal Reserve System.”

    “Keynes was wrong. Cheap credit does not help bring an economy out of recession (particu-larly when it was cheap credit that caused the recession in the first place). More generally, a monetary system controlled by an all-powerful central bank is inherently destabilizing and harm-ful to economic growth. The mistakes made by the Fed before and after 2008 are not isolated in-cidents, mistakes that can be corrected by making minor changes to the Fed’s charter, structure, or independence. They are the predictable result of giving control of the monetary and financial system to a government agency. The best option is to replace the central bank and let the market be in charge of money.”



  123. Bron,
    According to some, JFK tried to through exec order 110 Which told the treasury to start printing bills, I think it was. Did that have something to do with his assassination?

  124. National Associations Of Letter Carriers Legislative Fact Sheet: Background
    it has been estimated that Federal Employees , Federal Retireees and families have contributed more then $200 billion towards deficit reduction since 1980 through cuts in pay, health care and benifits and retirement benifits . Postal Federal Employees have been on the front line of efforts to reduce the budget deficit. The 1997 Budget Reconcillation Bill as part of the deficit reduction effort, enacted a temporary increase in Federal Postal Employees cotribution to the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employee Retirement System. The result is a phased in temporary increases in employee retirement payments throrugh Dec. 31, 2002. After Jan ,2000 80% of the 5 % increase has already taken effect . An additional 10 % is scheduled to take place in 2001. The sole purpose of the increased contributions to the retirement system was to achieve deficit reduction. Postal Federal Employee recieved no additional benifits from their increased contribiution. In 2003, Congress was informed of the overpayments to the retirment funds, then postal comments to the federal trade commision took place in august , 2007, after the passing of the PAEA in 2006. http://www.postalmag.com/joygoldbergstressusps.pdf.
    federal budget treatment of the USPS, oig report 2009
    http://www.billburrasjournal.org- Misc
    www. savethepostoffice.com scroll down read
    ALEC/Koch Cabal Privitization of the USPS for Ups and Fedex

  125. In 1917 Collective bargaining was formed due to the fact that Congress was having difficulty since Postal Workers were protesting working conditiions and cogress did not want to listen, but eventually rather then more violence congress decided to have a medition process and so collective bargaining was formed, but actually did not come in to full effect until around 1935 in the year that President Rossevelt decided to let people form unions , becasue mainly for the decade before big business was against unions and in fact many could not get a job if you were for unions, at all, but then the stock market crashed and america suffered after this attempt to do away with unions. Even with that event, and from an unlikely source of information on the net, the detroit news socialist underground, , facts began to emerge, that in some cases, such as detroit where union workers formed the national guard was sent out to actually shoot in to the union memers who were protesting work conditions non violently, including a case in gastonia , nc where over 400 people formed and protested peacefully, then were bayonetted from national guard coming out.So big money was behind the attacks but did not take in to account the damage done economcally by destroying unions and if we fast forward to germany during this time we can also remember the destruction of unions there, then the hollocaust that followed. Now once again an attack on the 2nd biggest working force is taking place, not much of modern society but rather a step backwards of history repeating itself in our country and yet unions have given minimum wages laws, health beniifits, fmla , minnimum hours. Then the attack on the USPS started and no doubt planned out to go with a coprorate buyout of a Consitutional designed service for the American people.

  126. Never too late say somg—-well obviously I am. But the editorial paean to the village PO in today’s struggling newspaper got me riled. Thus this.

    Has the USA pop. fled the country because there are neither jobs nor sustenance for a small famerr or anyone else. I believe it has. Have you heard of agrobusiness. Well, that’s who took over the countryside folks—-more or less, from state to state.

    So, those with romantic dreams of country life, forget it. Exchanging gossip at the post office ain’t what it used to be, and probably never was either. Haven’t you noticed how most village folks drive by their village store (if it’s hanging on) and drive into the nearest center where the glitter and the glitz awaits with its tingle-tangle. Welcome all with dollars and or plastic. No plastic, well we can fix that, sign right nere.

    So the rural post office is just a relic of the past. Just like the general store, the blacksmith, the radio repairmen, and the gas station. You know what killed the small dairy farmers here? The big dairy set a minimum which most could not meet. That’s how commercialization does it to our countryside. Now cows are big business, polluting the air, polluting the water, keeping Monsanto rich along with big Pharma.giving us our daily dose of synthetic hormones, and pink slime industry which feeds our kids at lunch.

    So wherever you are the PO is a relic. But what’s more economical: one postman visiting 30 homes or 30 cars visiting the old post office? Uhhhh, excuse me, where does the postman pick up the mail? At the mall, where most of you will visit once this week.

    Get it. The times they are a-changing——and I ain’t Bob Dylan either.

    So make sure you got the net, drive that one through the legislatures. So your kids can make up for all the teachers who are being cut out of the schools now.

    Progress! You betcha, and she don’t own the phrase. So it’ll do.

  127. We used to ride horses until the car was invented. Email and electronic commerce IS the future. The Postal Service as we know it will meet it’s own demise.

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