23 April 2007

Neither Rain, Nor Snow...

Quickly now-
What's the cost of a first class stamp?
Is it 39 Cents? 41 Cents?
Funny... I can't tell ya. I have a sheet of stamps lying on my desk downstairs.
Still, If I had to wager, I couldn't be sure what each stamp cost me.

How long has it been since you sat down and wrote a letter to someone, put that letter in an envelope, attached first-class postage, and posted that letter? That's another question I cannot answer... but in my case I know it's been years, and I used to write a lot of letters.
There's another blog-post to be written about my frustration with trying to communicate with my male friends, but I'll save that for a later individual post.

How much damage has email done to first-class letters? My guess is that it has decimated them. Email is instant, convenient, and ya don't have to give your "from then to now" history in email... just state your immediate thought, then push "send."
So easy, even my macho "cavemen" friends aren't threatened by it!

How do you pay your bills?
For a while now I have resisted paying my bills online... fearful of the safety of sending my financial information over the "ether". But I finally got tired of the process... physically writing the check, tearing off the payment stub, putting both into an envelope and attaching first-class postage.
Now I simply type in the Dollar amount I want to pay on the bill, designate the date I want it paid, and push the "submit" button.

The U.S. Postal service still brings the statement for those bills to my mailbox, and MAN, do I ever get a pot-load of junk mail and catalogs on a daily basis! But I find myself raising the flag on that box to indicate there's a letter needing to be picked up less and less.

Personal letters via email...
Business bein' conducted online.
Strike one and strike two?

Fedex and UPS are already the preferred carriers for parcels. With the continuing loss of revenue from First-class postage, what's the future hold for the U.S. Postal Service?
It's gonna be interesting to watch.


Anonymous said...

Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

The proposed recent "Do not mail" is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing - and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today's [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.


Ramsey A Fahel


Dear Greybeard,