Andrew Barbano/Sparks Tribune
“L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”) – Attributed to Louis XIV, King of France, not long before his date with the guillotine.
You know it’s gonna be a bad day when it’s both Monday and you find a letter from the IRS in your mailbox. Could it possibly get worse?
As I opened it, I tried to look on the bright side. Maybe it was a stimulus/relief check. Alas and alack, nada.
The letter was from Czar Donaldov the First, mega-black marking pen signature and all. I have not yet read it because I’m on deadline and I’ve run out of creative “sorry I’m late” excuses for Tribune Editor Dahlberg. I also need time to properly savor such attention from on high.
Nonetheless, I think I caught the first line: “I am the Lord, your God, bow down and worship me.” Or words to that effect, like “the check is in the mail.”
So, a psychopath possessed of no emotions save anger and revenge, who can order me killed, knows where I live. Happy Monday.
Thanks, I guess, El Presidente, for giving me a borderline plausible cop-out to go past deadline as usual. And no, I don’t owe you one.
And where the hell’s my money?
BUYING IMMORTALITY. A May 9 Reno Gazette-Journal business headline caught my eye: “US asks dead taxpayers to return relief checks.”
Which begs a serious metaphysical question: Where can the deceased buy stamps?
Of course: the Dead Letter Office, same place the postal service sends letters to Santa at the North Pole every year.
BTW: Dead people can legally keep the money. Which makes sense. For now.
OR (gasp!) is the IRS trying to figure out how to collect from dead people?
Images of deals with the Devil arise in my head.
POSTAL PENURY. It’s no secret that Republican moonhowlers have been trying to assassinate the postal service for years.
First and foremost, it’s religious dogma with them types that the for-profit private sector can do anything better than the public sector.
This ignores the fact that the postal service is the most popular of all government agencies. It was turned into a quasi-public organization some years ago, but Congress still pulls the strings.
So, a few years back, Congress in its…ahem…wisdom ordered the USPS to start shunting billions into a separate account to pay for the health care and retirement benefits of employees not yet born, 75 years into the future. That’s not my joke, it’s theirs and the joke is now law.
None, not one, not any other benefits plan has to do that. But it creates news reports that the postal service is losing money and should thus be turned over to the likes of Jared Kushner and Ivanka.
Actually, USPS has turned a profit the past six years in a row once the money shunted to that phony reserve account is added back in.
Czar Donaldov is convinced that Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon.com and The Washington Post, is being subsidized by the postal service. Baldfaced lie, as usual, but Trump wants revenge for Bezos allowing the Post to (gasp!) practice journalism.
In reality, UPS, FedEx and Amazon are major USPS customers because it delivers everywhere and is the most efficient way to distribute billions of their parcels. The post office loses money because of its basic mandate to serve every address in the country, including the most rural outbacks of places like Nevada or Alaska. That costs. First class letters are not profitable, packages are.
Could there be another motive besides revenge as to why our king wants to damage the postal service? Could it be that Coronavirus-fueled all-mail voting allows many more citizens to vote?
Our Czar hisself said “If everybody voted, Republicans would never win another election.”
Game. Set. Match.
THE AWFUL TRUTH. “For my friends, everything. For my enemies, the law.” — Russian autocrats’ aphorism very effectively implemented by Vladimir Putin.
AWFUL TRUTH, PART DEUX. “Trumpeting tragedy as Great Depression2 descends” — Barbwire headline, 6-5-2019.
“In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been in recession since the third quarter of last year,” I noted, adding “It’s just taking distracted Americans awhile to catch up to the rest of the industrialized world which got there before us.”
Alas and alack, we spawned a government that ignored all the warnings until massive death and destruction finally got somebody’s attention.
Stay safe and take care of each other.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
(Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.)