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Robert A. Mills

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From now on, this weekly Newsletter will be called ROBERT A. MILLS'S OP-ED COLUMN. Access it and enjoy!
Newsletter Dated: 6/30/2012 6:04:40 AM

Subject: FREE - June 30

The U.S. Postal Service is in dire straits, and I am not so sure it will be around by the time this column is posted. At least, not as we know it today. (Is Saturday delivery really necessary? In fact, thanks to the Internet, all USPS ever brings me are bills, advertising junk mail, health care EOBs, greeting cards and political propaganda; I would not shed a single tear if they took it down to one delivery a week.)

No one knows exactly how much red ink the USPS is bleeding. Some say it is over a billion dollars a year; others have put its losses as high as a million a day. Even the GAO says the figure is astronomical, but who believes a word they say, anymore?

Apparently though, the Do Nothing Congress of 2012 is about to save 290+ GA rural post offices, but will that be enough? And what difference will it make, except to a few cows and chickens?

We down here in Georgia have a congressional guy that appears to be trying to save it on his own. Although I do not think he is anyone I would ever vote for, he’s a congressman who sends out junk mail each week ballyhooing whatever agenda is on his mind. Most of his self-indulgent vitriol winds up in my mailbox — thankfully never addressed to me personally, but to another member of this household I suspect of having once or twice sent him a small campaign contribution.

I say small because all of us here are as poor as church mice. Everyone knows about it already since we eliminated all but two non-relatives from our Christmas card list.

Occasionally, however, what political propaganda we normally get is from that not-so-silent public servant in the U.S. Congress.

A recent piece was in the form of a survey in which he wanted at least three boxes checked. I cannot recite them all, but I remember one that asks if he should do all possible to repeal Obama’s health care law? Despite the fact that the Supreme Court recently declared the national health care bill Constitutional and the law of the land, this struck a chord because he did not have the courtesy to refer to Barack Obama as President Obama. (His gagging reflex needs work, as he may be speechless whenever the P word comes up.)

Another curious request his survey was unclear about, should he do all possible to prevent Obama from having a second term? This, of course, requires no reply — even though I have no intention of voting on November 6. That any U.S. congressman this early should ask such a question reveals a great deal about his sincerity and intentions (mine are blatantly obvious).

Even if a positive vote should be construed as recognition that I — e pluribus unum — am for Mr. Obama but against the opposing slate of nincompoops to the point of having to show the world that I harbor such sentiments, I prefer not to indicate allegiance to the current resident. He doesn’t need me that much, anyway. I will stay home, thank you, and sit on my one good hand.

Fortunately, I cannot recall the other elements of this congressman’s survey, but those already mentioned are sufficient to raise the grim specter of distrust on my otherwise placid countenance. I do not want to get into a discussion of franking, as I am certain the printing of those glossy but tawdry documents set the congressman back a few shillings. Also, I do not recall if a bona fide USPS stamp was affixed to the envelope that contained his drivel. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and concide that it was.

Frankly (so to speak) and despite the congressman’s abundant wealth, I cannot bring myself to think even he would let such garbage be disseminated at taxpayer expense. (Or would he?)

Franking, as we know it, was thought to be so important that our Founding Fathers wrote it into law in 1775 at a meeting of the First Continental Congress. The word comes from the old Latin term “frankus” meaning free — but ironically, the President of the United States cannot use it. The VP, however, can, as President of the Senate. (Go figure.)

If you insist on becoming a user of franking, go live in New Zealand. There, an ordinary citizen can write to a member of parliament as often as he likes, and he never has to affix a stamp to the envelope. Helluva deal!

Even old Ben Franklin thought it was grand. But hold on . . . isn’t franking the essence of free postage due to the largess of taxpayers?

Darn it all, Ben, when do we little people get a break?


Copyright©2012 by Robert A. Mills, all rights reserved


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