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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Alex Baer: Playing Post Office or Possum

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Post OfficeImagine birthdays, Valentine's Day, special occasions of all kinds without the Post Office's stamp of approval and thumbs-up.  Imagine America without Post Offices in its histories and small towns.

More to the point, imagine playing Post Office with a new, for-profit corporation: Imagine having to kiss up to and keep any new avocational CEO stocked up with vacation homes, wingtips, private jets.

The right-wing crazies want to bring down this venerable public institution too, bringing on a trick-opening for for-profit delivery -- some say by virtually engineering a downfall by triggering a financial crisis, just to get a foot in the door.  It's enough to make any American go postal, enough to make our first Postmaster General for 1775, Benjamin Franklin, twirl in his grave.

We've heard most of the arguments before:  There's been a drop in mail volume, e-mail's taken the place of handwritten letters, the internet now has the bill-paying traffic, and so on.

Time out: Take a breath, please, before riding lickety-split, Pony-Express-style, right off a cliff.  Two points of view are cued up, ready to go, to help us all have a better-informed clue about this sort of stuff.

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