Photograph Evidence Proves Postal Service Doomed to Fail

Photographic evidence proves the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail!  Okay, perhaps that’s a bit strong.  Still, I challenge anyone to consider the photos shown in this piece and prove my statement incorrect.

Is it any wonder the U.S. Postal Service loses billions of dollars annually?  Photo details at

This photo, taken Jan. 12, 2014, bolsters my argument that the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail? Read about it at

On Jan. 12, I snapped a photo above while visiting my St. Louis-area post office.  When I returned home, I shared the photo on my Facebook page, accompanied by the caption below:

Perhaps I hadn’t noticed it before during my regular trips to the local post office, but it seems one of two things is going on with the banner shown in this photo: Either the USPS folks are way ahead of the curve, planning for next year OR they are way behind. I’m thinking the banner, heralding an event Nov. 30, needs to be taken down. You?

Today, almost seven weeks later, I found the same banner, still hanging — albeit precariously — on the same wall by the same entrance at the same post office (see photo below).

Is it any wonder the U.S. Postal Service loses billions of dollars annually?  Photo details at

This photo, taken Feb. 27, 2014, bolsters my argument that the U.S. Postal Service is doomed to fail? Read about it at

Could it be that the local postmaster IS leaving the promotional banner on display until Nov. 30, 2014?  To help answer that question, I consulted my Trail Creek Trade Company 2014 calendar and learned the last day of November is a Sunday.  So, unless the local postmaster is going to promote a “Small Business Saturday” event on a day on which his post office is closed, I’m thinking the answer to that question is definitively, “No!”

Contrary to what the man in this video (below) told me in September 2009, I’m firmly convinced the USPS is doomed to fail if only someone in Washington shows he has the intestinal fortitude to let it.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

2009 Interview Yields Useful Political Lesson

The U.S. Postal Service is drowning in debt and on the verge of going under.  With the quasi-governmental agency on the verge of reporting losses of $10 billion for the fiscal year that will end Sept. 30, I share a useful political lesson in the form of an interview I conducted almost two years ago with a union retiree at a counter-protest to an an anti-socialism rally in the St. Louis area.

If, after watching this video, you are still considering casting votes for Democrats in 2012, please get your head examined before election day.

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Postal Service Loses $8.5 Billion

The U.S. Postal Service’s just-released 2009 Annual Report contains some hard-to-swallow numbers about the agency’s efficiency, effectiveness and long-term viability.  Most disturbing among them is the number reflecting net losses during fiscal year 2010:  $8.5 billion.

The USPS only lost $3.8 billion the previous year despite, according to a Nov. 16, 2009, news release, implementing cost-cutting efforts that resulted in $6 billion in cost savings and a $4 billion reduction in required payments for retiree health benefits.

Makes one wonder how well government-run health care (a.k.a., “ObamaCare”) will work — or not work as the case will likely be.

Bill Mauldin Immortalized on Postage Stamp

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin today received one of the nation’s highest honors in being featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The 44-cents stamp was dedicated at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., and goes on sale nationwide today.

During World War II, Mauldin’s cartoons, appearing in Stars and Stripes, made him a hero to many in the military. His sympathy for “dogfaces,” the slang term for soldiers in the infantry, was clearly expressed through his characters Willie and Joe, who gave their military audiences a hearty laugh and civilians an idea of what life was like for soldiers.

My Dad, Circa 1944

In 1945 Mauldin won the first of his two Pulitzers “for distinguished service as a cartoonist” and the Allied high command awarded him its Legion of Merit. His illustrated memoir, “Up Front,” was a bestseller. That same year, his “dogface” Willie appeared on the cover of Time.

In 1958, he took a job as a cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the following year he won a second Pulitzer for his cartoon portraying Boris Pasternak, author of “Doctor Zhivago,” as a Soviet prisoner.

U.S. Postal Service art director Terry McCaffrey chose to honor Mauldin through a combination of photography and an example of Mauldin’s art. The photo of Mauldin is by John Phillips, a photographer for Life magazine; it was taken in Italy on Dec. 31, 1943. Mauldin’s cartoon, showing his characters Willie and Joe, is used courtesy of the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla.

EDITOR’S NOTE: My dad was one of those “dog faces” for whom Mauldin had sympathy.  To read “My Father’s War Stories from World War II,” click here or on the photo of my father, above.

Can You Live Without Mail Delivery on Saturday?

Can you live without Saturday mail delivery on Saturday?  That’s a question many people have thought about in recent days.  With all of the recent buzz about the Postmaster General announcing he wants to discontinue that service soon, I thought it appropriate to share the short postal service-focused video below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 35-second video above is an excerpt which begins at the 2:30 mark of this video.

President Tasks Postal Service to Distribute Countermeasures in Case of BioWeapon Attack

Though the always-transparent (NOT!) White House web site contains no news of it, President Barack Obama has reportedly signed an executive order — yes, another one.  This time, he’s tasked the United States Postal Service to help distribute countermeasures in the event of a biological weapons attack within the United States.

Why the Postal Service?  Because, according to a New York Times report, of its ”capacity for rapid residential delivery.”  Yeah, right.

AFP reports President Obama has given Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius 180 days to come up with the plan for the USPS.  Sigh.

Among those likely to be excited about the prospects of letter carriers distributing countermeasures to bioweapons is the man shown in the video above.  During an anti-socialism rally Oct 3 in O’Fallon, Mo., he was one of a handful of union-organized counter-protesters who showed up to express unbridled support for government-run health care.  Incredibly, he cited the USPS as a prime example of government’s ability to run things “beautifully.”

Postal Service Changes Raise Cash, Fight Hunger

The U.S. Postal Service expects to save more than $100 million annually through a series of cost-cutting steps, but a handful of other steps reportedly being taken by the agency during its economic crisis will raise both cash and eyebrows.

Eighty district offices will be closed, according to a recent news release.  In addition, more than 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country are being eliminated and nearly 150,000 employees nationwide are being given the opportunity to take an early retirement.

According to an unidentified agency source, however, the agency is taking three other steps as follows:

  • The Postal Service will soon begin replacing its familiar red, white and blue outdoor mail receptacles with new coin-operated mailboxes.  In addition to paying for stamps, Postal Service customers will be required to deposit 25 cents into a slot in order to deposit a letter at a mailing location other than their home mailbox. So as not to confuse customers who wait until the last day to mail their tax returns, this program will not begin until April 16 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009.
  • In order to lower printing and production costs and boost affinity program revenues, the Postal Service will no longer offer self-adhesive stamps or stamps pretreated with nasty-tasting moisture-activated adhesives.  Instead, customers will be able to choose from a variety of “Flavor-Lick” and “Fresh-Scent Spray” adhesives that capitalize upon unique marketing arrangements with several name-brand companies.  To date, the list of companies said to be partnering with the Postal Service on the “Flavor-Lick” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Coca-Cola®, Listerine® and Red Bull®.  A partial list of the companies said to be participating in the Fresh-Scent Spray” initiative includes — but is not limited to — Dolce&Gabbana®, Glade® and Yankee Candle®.
  • In an effort to help reduce world hunger, the Postal Service plans to phase out traditional wood-based paper envelopes.  In place of them, the agency will offer only envelopes made of rice paper after July 1.  Furthermore, the Postal Service has notified envelope manufacturers and customers alike that the agency will no longer deliver envelopes not made of rice paper after Dec. 31, 2009.

If the measures above are successful, many government watchdog agencies expect the Postal Service to implement several other ideas, many of which were reportedly submitted by third graders.