Death of USPS

Thank you, Raymond Freeman, for your brilliant piece on the intended demise of the USPS (Sharper Focus, 8/1). This is an issue we rarely hear about, but it affects every person in America! Thank you for so clearly laying out how this phony ‘”crisis” was engineered and then exploited by the GOP for the benefit of the 1 percent who really would still be very rich without destroying the U.S. Postal Service. How can we get the word out? How can we give this the visibility it deserves? Even NPR talks about the USPS going bankrupt with scarce mention of the real reason. Our nation deserves better.

Matty Park

Keep ridiculous costs in check

OK, I did it again. The saying goes, “The first sign of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” I am guilty as charged.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, I decided to attend the Water Rate Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting. It, of course, was put on by the Ventura Water Organization spearheaded by Shana Epstein, the $200,000 per year general manager. In case you weren’t aware, the Ventura Water Organization is no longer a department of the city of Ventura, it is now a nonprofit organization. How an organization that pays its general manager more than $200,000 per year plus benefits could be a nonprofit organization is way beyond my realm of thinking.

Anyway, as I said, I went to the meeting thinking I would learn something enlightening. My hopes were dashed when the Water Rate Advisory Committee introduced themselves. Every one of them was an ex-water workers; that is, they all, during their working years, worked for a water department in a municipality or worked for a company dealing with massive amounts of water. So I knew right away this whole “advisory” thing was sorta fixed.

The nonprofit Ventura Water Organization also, in order to better enable themselves to place whatever rate increase they have already planned for the coming years into effect, hired a company called Raftelis Financial Consultants, a leader in the utility rate industry. I had no idea there were companies whose whole reason for being was to advise municipalities how much to gouge their customers for utility service.

When the meeting finally started the Raftelis Financial Consultant people used the first half-hour telling one and all about their company, and tried to sell books. Figuring they more than likely charge somewhere around $1,000 per hour for their “consulting,” this little story about their company’s history cost the Ventura taxpayers around $500.

As far as I can tell, our water and wastewater rates are already enormously inflated. Instead of looking for more pie-in-the-sky reasons to cheat the citizens of Ventura more than they do, what they should have is a Keep Ridiculous Costs for the Nonprofit Ventura Water Organization in Check Advisory Committee.

Rellis Smith


And Moomjean never gets it

In response to “When Hollywood doesn’t get it,” Paul Moomjean, Sept. 5

What Moomjean doesn’t seem to understand is that Brody was not bemoaning the fact of WWII, but the fact that it was necessary at all. He spoke of the dehumanization of the effects of war; he didn’t say that war should not have happened against Nazi Germany. Moomjean just twists and turns things to make his point without taking into consideration what war is and what it does — and what Adrien Brody meant. I am sure that most of us watching that night had no trouble understanding Brody’s heartfelt speech and meaning. Maybe Moomjean was too young to understand it. At any rate, he has taken Brody’s words and twisted them around to make some point that he, Moomjean, wanted to make, but had nothing to do with what Brody was saying. And then he refers to Lee Daniels’ film, The Butler, but in what regard? The whole thing doesn’t make sense, except to give Moomjean an opportunity to once again lash out at someone who he thinks might not agree with him. The fact is: evil is evil. War is horrible. Racism is intolerable, in all forms, in all places, at all times. And Moomjean is … well, sorry to say: Moomjean. And Moomjean never gets it.

Jan Richman Schulman

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and maybe, Jan Richman Schulman, the war against Sadddam Hussein was unnecessary? Perhaps Bush should have just let him be. A nasty Middle East dictator with a yet another goal of 'driving the Israeli's into the sea'. We could have left him alone. Sure. Then again, when he did 'the deed' we'd be hearing from the Jan Richman Schulman's of the world about how we did 'nothing' to help the Israeli's. Let's face it Jan Richman Schulman, you'd never shut up about that now would you?
Moomjean get's it.

posted by Scapegoat on 9/25/13 @ 06:56 p.m.

Hey Matty Park? There is a city up north. It's called Stockton. It's bankrupt. It used to thrive. Democrats control Stockton. They've killed it. Too many handouts to their employees. The same thing has happened to the USPS. Too many promises to their employees. They've killed it. You're a dope if you believe Raymond Freeman.

posted by Scapegoat on 9/25/13 @ 07:01 p.m.

I agree, Scapegoat. Moomjean gets it. The ones that don't get it are the Jan Richman Schulman's (btw, your name is unnecessarily long) of the world who would love us to keep turning a blind eye to terrorism even after it smacks us up side the head (USS Cole, 911, Fort Hood, Benghazi, and the list goes on...). I'm sure glad we have more rational people looking out for our welfare than JRS (I've decided to shrink your name down to an acronym, Jan. Hope you don't mind...).

As for the USPS, it is only a matter of time before this inefficient, ineffective, bloated, behemoth self-destructs. It has failed to change with the times and now faces stiff competition from Fed-Ex, UPS, and other companies that have changed and adapted to the new normal in mail and package delivery.

Scapegoat mentions Stockton as a living example of a public entity going broke. There are many other examples as well. Another big one that comes to mind is Detroit. Detroit is another city, like Stockton, where Democrats were in control. In fact, its former Democratic Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is in prison right now for corruption. Wonderful!

posted by rasta_man on 9/26/13 @ 12:36 p.m.

The usual ghouls that haunt the letter section with lies and distortions have returned--Rasta, Scapegoat, and King is probably in the intensive care ward of the local psych. hospital. .

Like the rest of California. Stockton was a victim of the Great Recession caused basically by the idiotic notion that the financial industry did not need regulating. A really fine film that lays it all out is the Academy Award doc. "Inside Job" and I recommend that anyone interested in reality pick it up on Netflix.

The Post Office was largely bypassed by the computer age but handicapped further by the GOP's insistence that it fund it pensions farther into the future than any other agency of government. We should quit subsidizing junk mail. Let the unwelcome missives come at full freight. That would help.

Nice that some official goes to jail for bad acts. Tom Delay just escaped that honor because of a friendly judge back home.

posted by cassandra20 on 9/26/13 @ 12:56 p.m.

BTW, Jan, I saw "The Butler" a week or so and it was an unusually fine film. Oprah especially did an outstanding job, but probably won't be recognized because she didn't appear to be acting, which is a compliment to anyone's acting.

Since the film covers a 40 + year term of the butler in the White House, the presidents are of necessity stereotyped in a vignette or two. The Kennedys are depicted in the deep mists of Camelot, beautiful and tragic. Johnson comes across as a very effective but really gross wheeler dealer crucified by Vietnam, Nixon a Machiavellian nasty, and Reagan, a kindly, personable but dense figure.

I haven't read the book, but it is from the Butler's perspective so maybe that's how it looked to him, servant in the nation's mansion.

The film displayed a brief review of an historical period of living memory and helps one to remember where we came from.

posted by cassandra20 on 9/26/13 @ 01:10 p.m.

Common sense was never old Margaret Cassandra's strong suit. She would have us believe the people who run Stockton, Detroit, other bankrupt cities and the USPS also lack common sense. Of course it goes much deeper than that. The collusion between Dem politicians and public employee unions (one hand washes the other) being THE most destructive force America has dealt with since WW II. But it takes common sense to see this. Old Margaret has no common sense, thus her letters and comment's shakily dance around the real reasons for fiscal collapse like a African Shaman conjuring a primitive belief.

posted by Scapegoat on 9/26/13 @ 05:47 p.m.

Agreed, Scapegoat. No one has every accused Cassandra of being too high on the IQ scale. She is able to quote others very well and regurgitate some lines from a very poorly done movie (The Butler) but this says very little about her ability to grasp a topic, analyze it, and present her untarnished opinions and ideas about it. She seems quite incapable of doing this.

How anyone can defend the Stockton City Council and the Detroit City Council as being victims of the recession is downright laughable. These elected Council members were responsible for managing the public's funds. They failed miserably in doing this. They should all be sent to prison, which is exactly what would have happened if these two cities had been private corporations.

Get it together, Cassandra. You continue to embarrass yourself on here on a regular basis. We should actually be feeling sorry for you, which I know some of us are.

posted by rasta_man on 9/27/13 @ 04:57 p.m.

No, I think you're scared of me because I challenge your BS. Otherwise you would not be so busy badmouthing me.

Scapegoat I know of old as a racist and rather irrational fool.

Rasta seems to be of something darker.

I didn't quote anybody's lines but my own. I don't get my script from Faux and worse, as you do.

I'm not the least embarrassed and will continue to love the movies as all Americans do.

You might check back with the much belabored Avatar wherein a corporate plutocracy destroys our planet and aims to subjugate and exploit another.

OMG Cameron is a frickin' prophet even to the cooperative underground forest network much as newer plant biology science is describing.

Unfortunately the happy ending is off. These corporate baddies can't be destroyed by Mother Nature. She needs our help. And if any humans are reading this, let's give it.

posted by cassandra20 on 9/28/13 @ 06:36 p.m.

Should there be any rational observer out there, please note how they never deal with issues other people frame or raise, just reiterate their lame and rather hysterical accusations and name calling.

posted by cassandra20 on 9/28/13 @ 06:40 p.m.

The Shaman dances wildly, reads the Talisman and shouts "racist!".
How convenient. How utterly tiring, low democrat, misses the mark can you possible be?
Are you writing about James Cameron, the director? For the sake of argument I will assume you've seen his gynormous Malibu estate and his equally gynormous yacht?
On a long list of Hollywood hypocrites, James Cameron is at the top. Yet boneheads hold him up as some savior of the planet!
Look Margaret/Cassandra-stick to the issues. The how and why municipalities fail is well known. It's because of democrat BAD management, stupid voters and a belief in 'shaman economics' of which you, apparently, are an adherent.

posted by Scapegoat on 9/29/13 @ 07:44 a.m.

I laugh wildly every time I read one of cassandra's diatribes because they always adhere so closely to the far left talking points so readily available to her on MSNBC. It's as if she simply copied and pasted these quotes here as her rebuttal, rather than doing the sometimes arduous research that I demand of myself before I post my thoughts here and elsewhere.

And Scapegoat you've hit the nail on the head here with regard to cassandra's hero worship of the Hollywood elitist hypocrite, James Cameron. Cameron is but one of the many Hollywood elitists who love to wag their fingers in our faces about ruining the environment and then jump into their Ferrari's and roar down the freeway to their 12,000-square-foot mansions in the Hollywood Hills where their daily energy consumption is about what the average American uses in an entire year.

Yep, James Cameron is just one such hypocrite. We can also add Sean Penn, Timothy Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jane Fonda, Alec Baldwin, Michael Moore, Barbara Streisand, Martin Sheen, and Danny Glover to the list. It always amazes me that because these smug, self-righteous, windbags can memorize lines in a script they think we should all bow down to their every word. What qualifies these mostly uneducated, stupid people to speak out with any authority about the issues of the day?

Only star-struck idiots like cassandra allow themselves to get sucked into this knee-jerk, parrot-like behavior. Thank God that most enlightened, intelligent, free-thinking Americans do not!

posted by rasta_man on 9/29/13 @ 03:40 p.m.

And Rellis Smith should be given a life sentence to kindergarten, where he might actually learn what it takes to learn. What a friggin' idiot this guy is!!!

As idiotic as he is though, he still comes in head and shoulders above cassandra2. Lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by rasta_man on 9/29/13 @ 11:46 p.m.
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