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Front Page » October 11, 2011 » Opinion » Letters to the Editor
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Letters to the Editor


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Speak up for the post offices and rural Utah

Speak up for the post offices and rural Utah

Editor,

Several people have asked me why I haven't written an editorial recently, my simple response has been "Nothing has ticked me off recently." That's not to say I haven't been building a head of steam over the administration's complete disregard for the constitution or its total incompetency, the ongoing erosion of the Second amendment, the perversion of the First amendment, or the lack of justice in our justice system...these issues just haven't come to a critical mass in my mind and moved me to put pen to paper (well actually finger to keyboard). Recently however, a national issue with potentially devastating local implications has...the closure of non-profitable/nonproductive, rural post offices.

First of all the very term "non-profitable" ticks me off when applied to government services. The term implies that government services are supposed to be profit centers and produce revenues; government services, with the possible exception of the Internal Revenue Service, are not profit centers nor revenue producers they are (providers of) accommodations and activities required by the public or necessary to the public good.

Secondly, many people have been lead to believe that the Postal System is a government owned corporation or a quasi governmental agency...it is not. This is another perversion of the constitution, circa 1971 with the imposition of the Postal Reorganization Act. The United States Postal Service is, as of 1971, an independent agency of the United States government and one of the very few government agencies explicitly authorized (since 1792) by the United States Constitution. In other words, by constitutional mandate the government is required to provide postal service to all the people of the United States...there is no stipulation in that mandate that the government only has the obligation to provide this service in areas where it is profitable any more than there is any stipulation that governments, whether federal, state, or municipal, are only required to provide police or fire services where it is economically feasible.

With respect to Emery County, the current proposal by the Postal Service to close 50 percent of the post offices in Emery County makes no economic sense, this is especially true at a time when the current administration defends wasting half a billion dollars on a questionable investment in a company developing fantasy technologies. This proposal demonstrates the insensitivity of the urbane, leftist, elites in Washington to the unique needs of rural communities and rural Americans; you know, us dangerous types who cling to our Bibles and guns and still believe in American exceptionalism.

In the sprawl of urban areas the distance between post offices is measured in blocks and a post office closure would constitute a minor inconvenience; in rural areas the distance between post offices is measured in 10s of miles and the closure of a community's post office is a major inconvenience resulting, in some cases, in individuals only being able to access mail once or twice a week and in the case of the elderly and infirm would make it virtually impossible for them to access the service that, by constitutional edict, the government is required to provide to them. Those of us not affected by the closures of the "non-profitable" rural, post offices in Emery, Clawson, Orangeville, and Cleveland may find ourselves having a tendency to say "That's too bad, but it doesn't affect me," and in the short term that may be true but, I ask you, in the long view, if the government is successful in this assault on rural America, what are you going to do when these same elites decide that one regional post office located in Castle Dale, since that is the county seat, is more feasible than maintaining post offices in Ferron, Huntington, and Castle Dale or that maintaining "non-profitable" balloting polls in small, rural communities is inefficient so all voting in Emery and Carbon counties will occur in Price? Won't happen? Fear mongering? Would you have ever believed that the opinion of one judge would over-ride the will of 7.5 million American voters, that "freedom of religion" would be perverted to become "freedom from religion" and the expulsion of God from our national character, that an unequivocal statement of a right "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" would be transformed into a prevarication of that right into a government controlled privilege, or that the belief in American exceptionalism would be considered subversive? All of these things have transpired through the efforts of cynical politicians and a federal government moving further and further from the constitution and facilitated by the expanding judicial dictatorship of an out of control Supreme Court which unconstitutionally rewrites the elements of the constitution from the bench through a usurped authority for "interpretation".

In my humble opinion, the amount of savings that would be realized by closing 50 percent of the post offices in Emery County where the postal box is the only means of receiving mail is, most likely, minuscule in comparison to the savings that could be realized from the closure of just one post office in a major metropolitan area such as Salt Lake City where post offices proliferate and home delivery is a given. Moreover, in rural communities, post offices are not merely places to pick-up and drop off mail and packages or buy postage stamps; they have evolved into the beating heart of a community where citizens meet, exchange news, discuss issues of the day, where municipalities disseminate community information, and where the demise of community members are announced...these may not be what the post office was designed for but it is what it is in rural communities.

These things having been said the question arises, "Is the United States Postal Service in financial trouble?"

The answer is a very loud and definitive "yes"...through a combination of mismanagement, unionization, and inefficiency the postal service has been driven deeply into insolvency but the answer is not ever increasing postal costs, reductions in services, nor the closing of "nonproductive" rural post offices; these are mere temporary Band-aids over a gapping, oozing wound...the intelligent responses are competent management, de-unionization, and more efficient operations.

More is at stake here than just the closing of "non-profitable", rural post offices; the time has long past for us, the American people, to regain control over our government... let this issue be the proverbial "line in the sand", please contact your federal representatives (Chaffetz, Hatch, Lee, and Matheson), state representatives (Hinkins, and McIff), the Governor, as well as your County Commissioners and demand that they loudly voice, both orally and in writing, their opposition to this attack on rural America; in addition show your support for those communities in danger of losing their post offices by finding out when the Postal Service is holding "community meetings" in those communities and attending them personally voicing your opposition.

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Jew; Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out-because I was not a Catholic; Then they came for the Protestants, and I didn't speak out-because I was a Protestant; Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak out for me." - Martin Niemoller

Lou Sansevero, Ferron

Appreciation to those who helped

Editor:

I want to thank all those who were so helpful at the train-ride accident at the park in Green River last Saturday. There were so many people who jumped in to help. The ones who helped lift the train off our little one, the girls riding with our girls who tried to catch them, and came to the clinic to check on them later, and so many others.

The EMTs were so quick to arrive and so competent and professional. (Susan, your are great). The nurse and the P.A., Kim McFarlane, at the Green River clinic are so good at what they do, and really went the extra mile to reassure these terrified little girls, (and their grandparents and their brother).

A very special thank you to the two beautiful ladies (they were sisters) who picked up our little girls (they are sisters too) from the road and held and comforted them until we could get help. I did not get your names, but I am so grateful to you for being so sweet.

I've always wondered what angels look like, now I know.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from all of our family.

Kelly Martinez, Price

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