Schools and government offices shut down in Puerto Rico today after the government ran out of money. We could only dream of such a favorable resolution to a bankrupt government here on the mainland. Puerto Rico, being a commonwealth of the US, can't just pass a law to increase the budget deficit and then print up money.
Thursday, the mail carrier once again put the refused junkmail back in my mailbox. I posted a copy of the relevent section of the postal regulations which states,
1.1.3 Refusal After Delivery
After delivery, an addressee may mark a mailpiece "Refused" and return it within a reasonable time, if the piece or any attachment is not opened. Mail that may not be refused and returned unopened under this provision may be returned to the sender only if it is enclosed in a new envelope or wrapper with a correct address and new postage. The following may not be refused and returned postage-free after delivery:
a. Pieces sent as registered, insured, certified, collect on delivery (COD), and return receipt for merchandise mail.
b. Response mail to the addressee's sales promotion, solicitation, announcement, or other advertisement that was not refused when offered to the addressee.
Yesterday, he did it again and circled the following section:
1.1.6 Remailing Returned Mail
Generally, a returned mailpiece that was undeliverable-as-addressed or refused by the addressee may not be remailed unless it is placed in a new envelope or wrapper with a correct address and new postage. A returned shortpaid mailpiece can have the necessary additional postage affixed to the original piece and does not have to be placed in a new envelope or wrapper.
The USPS carrier exam apparently doesn't cover reading comprehension, as the above regulation states that refused mail cannot be remailed once it has been refused. Despite the fact that the refused mail is only traveling about 6 inches, since no additional postage has been paid, such a remailing would be a violation. Today, I added a Post-it note to that effect.
Yesterday, I spoke with Lynda Buss, the local postmaster for Northridge. She was not much more helpful than the mailman. I pointed out that the Domestic Mail Manual stated that I could refuse the junkmail, and she said, "You can read the Domestic Mail Manual all you want," but that they were still going to deliver the junk mail. I said that was fine, but that mail that I refuse must not be redelivered. She made the absurd statement that if I refuse the junk mail, then the mail carrier won't know who lives there. The junk mail is not addressed to me personally, but "Postal Customer", "Resident", or similar. I emphasized that I would accept delivery of mail that was actually addressed to me. The only concession I could get out of her was that she would speak to the mail carrier to see what they could do. She's the boss. All she has to do is tell her subordinates to follow their own regulations.
The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat