School Essay Contest
you walk 25 feet for Matthew
may be selected for permanent display on
this website. Your school could be
awarded gifts including books, posters,
a Henson Diorama set, photos, etc.
"Would you walk 25 feet for Matthew
Think about this. A civil service
employee decides he doesn't want to be
bothered picking up your packages. The
USPS offers that service to all
customers. But Ritchie decides he can
simply refuse and leave a notice making
up a reason that he can't back up his
vehicle (read his note below). Yet the
true reason is he doesn't think he
should be bothered getting out of his
car to walk 25 feet to the porch!
Now this is where it gets interesting.
The US Government has an office of the
Postal Regulatory Commission and the
Inspector General. But they are all
sitting in cozy offices 3,000 miles
away. What do they know? What do they
So, you think, you can inform them
with a letter. But they ignore your
letter. You never recieve a response. SO
you send your complaint by Certified
Mail. Someone signs for it, but there
is still no one really in charge—your
letter is simply falling into the
non-responsive depths of a government
bureaucracy. Weeks go by.
You send more letters, you send faxes,
you send the documentation to the Postal
Regulatory Commission. They also will
not reply with written acknowlegement of
reciept, let alone tell Ritchie he has
to perform the services he is paid for.
Serivces that the USPS promises to all
|Matthew Henson risked
his life in a journey that reads like a
brutal nightmarish race against death
covering nearly 1,000 miles of Arctic
Ocean ice. He risked death every day,
for weeks, to ultimately claim the North
Pole for America.
In remarkable irony, 100 years later, a
civil service employee is preventing
USPS Priority Mail shipping of Henson's
commemorative items. Why? Because he
does not want to walk 25 feet from his
vehicle. That needs to change.
Matthew risked his life
with Commander Peary so that
America was the first to reach
the North Pole. Today, 100 years
later, should a postal employee
risk walking 25 feet to ship a
Henson biography? Should he risk
backing up in a location with no
traffic, obstacles, or other
|(above) For years we shipped Henson
posters, books & other items via
USPS Priority Mail. The Post
office has free pickup service.
says he is "not allowed to back
up". Is the real truth that he doesn't want to walk 25
feet to the porch?
|President Obama said in his
Starting today, we must pick
ourselves up, dust ourselves
off, and begin again the work of
everywhere we look, there is
work to be done."
" ...What the
cynics fail to understand is
that the ground has shifted
beneath them—that the stale
political arguments that have
consumed us for so long no
longer apply. The question we
ask today is not whether our
government is too big or too
small, but whether it works..."
|One day this notice was
left. Ritchie didn't want to
pickup packages anymore. Can you
|What can you do?
This situation is
an excellent case illustrating President
Obama's inauguration speech—
time has come to reaffirm our enduring
spirit; to choose our better history; to
carry forward that precious gift, that
noble idea, passed on from generation to
generation: the God-given promise that
all are equal, all are free, and all
deserve a chance to pursue their full
measure of happiness."
No one at the USPS will register a
complaint, or restore our package pickup
service. Yet the USPS is required to
provide service to all patrons.
are simply ignored by both the Inspector
General and the Postal Regulatory
Commission. Why? I believe it is an
example of President Obama's comment
in his speech: "...The question we ask
today is not whether our government is
too big or too small, but whether it
This is an instance where it does
not work. But can we change it? I
believe we can. This is the 100th
anniversary of Matthew Henson's epic
journey to the North Pole.
The USPS must
not be allowed to stop USPS Priority
Mail shipments of books, posters and
photographs about Matthew Henson.
|Classroom discussion &
• How can government employees
be held responsible to perform
the work they are paid to do?
What happens when they act in
their own interest by simply
doing what they prefer to do,
not what they are supposed to
• In this case—the Post Office
will not ship Henson items; they
are refusing postal shipping
revenue. You report it by letter
to the Inspector General.
Silence. Months go by. You
report if to the Postal
Regulatory Commission and they
will not acknowledge in writting
that you filed a complaint.
What does a citizen do when the
broken government you are trying
to fix simply plays dead?
[The question we ask today is
not whether our government is
too big or too small, but
whether it works..." ]
The importance of
documents, evidence & proof
Discuss the concept
of "putting it in writing."
Why do some people say
"Never sign anything!" "Never
put any thing in writing!"
Do dishonest people try to
avoid creating evidence
by only talking on the
phone—trying to pacify you?
What does it mean that after you
have a long phone conversation
with a government employee that
you have nothing in writing? Can
you imagine that later the
person can say "I never said
that!" "Who told you that?"
|Ritchie said he was not
allowed to back up. Why not?
Where is that written? What rule
says a postal employee can
refuse shipping revenue because
he doesn't feel like doing his
|President Obama said in his
today, we must pick ourselves
up, dust ourselves off, and
begin again the work of remaking
America. ...For everywhere we
look, there is work to be done."
"...What the cynics fail to
understand is that the ground
has shifted beneath them — that
the stale political arguments
that have consumed us for so
long no longer apply. The
question we ask today is not
whether our government is too
big or too small, but whether it