The Bush-Cheney Administration, legislative booger hunters, and bureaucratic rulemakers continue to exhibit a hysteria that knows no bounds for making life more difficult and rights less secure, and my latest experience exceeds my amazement at having to eject my toothpaste and nail clippers at XNA.
I recently tried to mail a book to a friend. It was an adult book entitled Blood in Their Eyes by Grif Stockley, about the Elaine Massacre of 1919 and the subsequent legal battles. My regular letter carrier told me that he was "prohibited" from picking it up along with the rest of my out-going mail, because it weighed more than 13 ounces and had official USPS stamps on it. I looked as confused as I was. Homeland Security was the answer. I would have to mail it from the Post Office.
I drove to the Post Office and deposited the book in the outgoing mail slot in the lobby. In a few days it came back to my house, even though it had more than enough stamps to cover the postage. It was returned "due to heightened security requirements." Another sticker informed me that I must personally present it to a "retail service associate at a Post Office."
So, the gang that can't find Osama bin Laden with both hands, is protecting our country by making me take off time from work, drive to a Post Office during business hours, stand in line for 30 minutes, hand my book to a postal employee, present identification, be visually evaluated as a potential terrorist, watch my stamped package get tossed in a bin, and hope it arrives within a month of the event that led to the gift.
You could be next, so remember this if you're sending Christmas gifts, running a home Ebay business, or planning to mail explosives weighing more than 13 ounces.