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Postal Service woes; defending Proposition 8 in court; a Times/USC poll on the nation's ills

September 08, 2011
  • A Post Office in Bristol, Va. The U.S. Postal Service faces a financial crisis. (Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images)
A Post Office in Bristol, Va. The U.S. Postal Service faces a financial crisis.…

Mailing it in

Re "Postal Service said to be near collapse," Sept. 7

Rain, sleet or snow can't stop the postman from delivering the mail, but apparently heavy debts might.

Because of the Internet and stiff competition from rivals, the U.S. Postal Service is in dire financial shape as the result of rising costs and diminishing revenue, which will result in a deficit this fiscal year of more than

$9 billion. Even if it is saved, the Postal Service will be but a shadow of its formal self, as nearly 4,000 post offices may be closed, a third of its workforce let go, and there probably will be at least one less delivery day.

This raises the question: Is the Postal Service worth saving?

Kenneth L. Zimmerman

Huntington Beach

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe needs to think outside the box, literally. The Postal Service needs to get its labor costs down from 80% to something closer to FedEx's. In addition to charging customers a monthly fee to have a post office box instead of home delivery, it should charge customers a small monthly fee for home delivery. There would be no need to eliminate Saturday delivery or close so many offices. Let the bean counters run the numbers and, surprise, the black ink will begin to flow.

The solutions are simple; implementing them takes courage.

Joe Petrotta

Palm Springs

In defense of Proposition 8

Re "Court is likely to clear the way for Prop. 8 defense," Sept. 7

This issue is not about gay rights. It's about who represents me in the courts. I do not want

anyone to say that they represent me without my permission.

Whether I agree or not with the actions of the governor or the state attorney general, who have declined to defend Proposition 8, I have given them my permission. I have not given permission to the backers of Proposition 8; they do not represent me.

It would be a terrible precedent to allow anyone with a lot of money to pursue an issue in this manner.

Gregg Ferry


It would be a travesty if the backers of Proposition 8 were not allowed to plead the case when state leaders have refused to do so. In effect, it would be permitting individual personal opinions to override the will of the people of California.

Arline George


To cure what ails us

Re "Voters resist compromise to fix U.S. ills," USC Dornsife/Times Poll, Sept. 6

Just how irrational are my fellow Californians/Americans? If the majority accept the scientific verdict on the man-made causes for climate change and extreme weather conditions and most Republicans deny it, how can that same majority believe that Republicans understand the science of economics?

If the same person who tells me that climate change is a hoax then tells me that cutting the deficit is the key to salvaging the economy, I would definitely question that person's overall grasp of reality. It is the primary method of the Republican Party to manipulate the working-class voter to support policies that are against his or her own interests.

Deception and credulity are present in the Republicans' version of climate change; I assure you it's no different in the Republicans' approach to the economy.

Karen Robinson-Stark


Not mentioned in the article is the fact that compromise is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place. Both sides, over the last several decades, have promised, spent, promised and spent until finally running out of other people's money to spend.

Now, some on the right are beginning to understand that government promises and spending are at the root of the problem. People are realizing that government promising everyone everything has only chained us to a sinking ship.

Who wants to compromise to higher taxes and less freedom instead of doing what is best for themselves?

Rich Case

Thousand Oaks

I wonder if the nearly half of California voters in favor of slashing government spending understand that doing so means laying off teachers, firefighters, police officers, hospital workers and construction crews; that it also means cutting spending on civilian and military projects that employ millions across the country; and that these public sector employees spend their salaries and pensions on goods and services that keep still more people working?

Can someone explain how putting all these people out of work while extending tax cuts to the wealthy will help the unemployment situation?

Andrew Hindes

Los Angeles

Look who needs the government

Re "Texas calls for aid as fires worsen," Sept. 7

It is with condolences for the Texas residents who have been devastated by the wildfires that I find it a bit ironic that their anti-government-spending governor is asking Washington for help, having had seven federal grants approved for the latest inferno. As the article points out, the state recently cut funding for volunteer fire departments by 75%. I wonder what the net gain will now be in calculating those savings.

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