Jump to content
The Education Forum

"Going Postal"


John Dolva
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery;jsessionid=61mhujhmmlgw?method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=Going+postal&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1&sbid=lc06b&linktext=going%20postalgo postal

Origin: 1994

An unforeseen phenomenon of the 1990s was rage in the post office. It was expressed not by impatient customers but by occasional postal employees frustrated with their jobs or their lives. In a few shocking instances, employees fired weapons in post offices and sorting facilities, causing dozens of casualties. By 1994, going postal or going postal worker was being applied to crazy or violent outbursts at any workplace.

Perhaps the term reached full strength in the aftermath of a well-publicized Washington conference on workplace violence sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service in January 1994. There it was reported that over the past decade, thirty-four postal workers had been killed and another twenty-six wounded by fellow employees. These statistics were monstrous or minuscule, depending on how you looked at them. But though they seemed to indicate that the Postal Service was a fairly safe place to work, to the public they affirmed its association with workplace violence.

The association of go with postal to indicate violence comes from similar crazy phrases: go berserk (1908), go crazy (1930), and go ballistic (1971). The latter developed both because ballistic missiles reached great heights and because they were prone to loss of control early in flight.

An example of go postal in full flight is in a 1995 article by "the Grammar Doctor" in the Tampa Tribune: "The next time Jerry Rice goes four quarters without a touchdown, some NFL cornerback is sure to explain that he 'defensed him pretty good.' It's enough to make a grammar purist go postal."

http://www.eamonn.com/2004/08/going_postal...ail_blackma.htm

"The verb "go postal" has dark roots. It's a euphemism for getting stressed out and losing it completely, and it came into vogue in the US in the 1980s following a number of ghastly killings by postal service employees who had been fired — between 1985 and 1998, 35 postal workers were killed and 26 wounded by disgruntled colleagues. Those who had been dismissed simply returned to the workplace with a weapon and shot as many of their co-workers as they could."

http://www.txmediator.org/toolkit/Going%20Postal.htm

"Prompt Service with Justice Delayed?

The United States Postal Service, with almost 900,000 employees, is one of the largest federal employers. The management of this huge bureaucracy must reconcile the demands of powerful unions, federal procedures, and increasing pressures to meet the expectations of Congress to maintain a competitive edge and hinder any justification of privatization.

To add to these pressures, the Postal Service (USPS) had received some bad press in the early 1990's regarding alleged work-related acts of violence, even though the Postal Service was actually at the national average or below for workplace violence.1 However, perception can override reality, and “going postal” became a widely misused term to describe an explosion of violence due to unresolved conflict in the workplace. This “perception of violence” led Congress to direct an investigation into postal labor relations using the General Accounting Office (GAO).

In 1993, the GAO found USPS relations to be acrimonious and confrontational, the product of “an autocratic management style, that included an adversarial union and employees.2 This confrontational style may have resulted in one of every twelve postal union members filing a grievance or complaint.3 Resolving those disputes cost the agency over $200 million a year.4

The Postal Service was also unable to handle equal employment opportunity complaints in a timely fashion, leading to a charge that “justice delayed was justice denied”.5 While the time-consuming, lengthy, adversarial process of exercising the grievance process continued, the prompt delivery of mail remained the inviolable priority of the Postal Service. The inflexibility of this requirement seemed incompatible with providing time for communication about “people problems" in employment disputes."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article....RTICLE_ID=23254

"Remember how the term "going postal" got started? For a while there, a few years back, it seemed like every disgruntled (which became the catchall adjective to describe any out-of-sorts employee) postal worker was walking into the office with a nervous twitch, firearm and a whopping score to settle.

These people are now deciding what's suspicious? Pardon me if I stay outside the place and drop my packages in the mail slot outdoors. While waiting in lines that challenge the DMV and communist grocery stores, I'm sure I've said a number of anti-post office stuff over the years within earshot of some Maxwell Smart behind the counter with the striped blue shirt and suspicion meter running on tilt. Considering that, for a number of those years, I had a shaved head, Wyatt Earp moustache and an armful of gun magazines, I was probably a prime candidate for a write-up.

Worse, nowadays I look respectable, mostly clean-shaven and walk in with a baby carriage. Must be a front for a drug kingpin.

The absurdity of all of this is mind-boggling.

Buying a money order – even a really big one – is perfectly legal. But if the numbers puncher thinks you might be laundering drug money with them, you're in big trouble. Never mind that you might be using the order to purchase a used car from a guy who is less than eager to take your personal check. Never mind the fact that maybe you forgot to order new checks from the bank and need a money order to pay your rent.

Even though the act itself is perfectly legal, by purchasing any postal money products, customers invite postal workers to stop playing clerk and start playing narc. Why a guy might look like an illicit druggist to a clerk is the scary part. How in the name of the Pony Express are these cash register regents supposed to finger a drug suspect?

No problem, right? They've seen "Cops." They know what a drug dealer looks like. Heck, "Law and Order" is probably their favorite TV show. Great.

It's bad enough when trained law enforcement officers get involved in profiling criminals. Now we've got keypad jockeys getting in on all the fun. Want to lay odds on how many completely innocent customers are going to have their names scribbled on a "suspicious activity report"?

The Postal Service doesn't seem worried by the prospect. According to a training video for the program, "It's better to report 10 legal transactions than to let one illegal transaction get by." Hear that gang? In the name of law and order, we get to take one for the team – or nine to be more accurate.

"Everybody must admit that the Post Office, as a branch of Government, is an institution obviously and inevitably liable to the most prodigious abuses," wrote New York Plaindealer columnist William Leggett in 1837."

_________________________________________

In 1963 the USPS (United States Postal Service) was not yet in existence. The relevant government department was the USPO (United States Post Office).

Some of the changes in the new Post Service were significant not least of all the relationship that the Post Master General had to the President.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'postal by proxy'

Nathaniel, I like that phrasing.

Well, apart from a reserve re. large scale generalisations, Yes.

Though I'd consider other players as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are many unanswered questions.

Some things are known. Many concerns arise from inconsistencies in Harry Holmes' testimonies and statements. Many concerns are inferences, many arise from a consideration of what 'should' be known, but isn't.

There was

an established network, position, personnell, access

Harry D. Holmes as FBI informant, DPD confidant, 'proxy' CIA informant, a hop and skip away from Dulles.

There is a recently disgraced Post Master General, who appears to have ties to the MSC.

Many critical pieces of evidence were supplied by a number of postal inspectors, that served to build the case against LHO.

How could Harry deflect a legitimate agency queery re reports of shots from the postal annexe with just a phone call?

A number of important withnesses were postal employees, including persons who took films.

Yet no attention seems to have ever been paid to them as to finding out, or questioning the findings that exist, of who they were. Why?

______________

Who were the 5 or 6 postal inspectors who viewed the assassination with Harry? Why does Harry claim to have an excellent memory, yet cannot remember this? Why can he not remember a lot of other things, yet he 'remembers' some things that are so obviously doubtful?

Why doesn't he mention Bell coming to his office to film a sequence?

Who was the secretary he had that was 30 feet away from the head shot?

Is there a connection in the sequence of events concerning the 'nurse' and cop in pergola, then walking across Bells field of view (possibly talking in radio hand held), then coming up right next to him, and suddenly Bell is in Harry's office?

Why did Harry suddenly decide to leave his wife in church to go to the last LHO interview where his questioning delayed the transfer?

What was it about Harry that made/makes him so 'untouchable'?

Why do the vast majority of maps, photographs and diagrams of Dealey Plaza not show Dealey plaza, but only the northern half? Why are almost all photographs and films of the southern half of Dealey Plaza that are available extremely limited in what they show? I have large collection of maps and photos in which there are probably only three or four very blurry (including the reflection in the trunk of the limousine) images that shows what was happening to the left.

What did Harry look like?

etc etc etc.

These are just a few of the questions (in no particular order or importance), many of them arising from Harry's testimonies, that have not been answered.

And not least: Why are these questions generally of no interest?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1963 the USPS (United States Postal Service) was not yet in existence. The relevant government department was the USPO (United States Post Office).

Some of the changes in the new Post Service were significant not least of all the relationship that the Post Master General had to the President.

Background and resource

http://www.postal-history.com/allbook.postalhist.states.html

_________________

http://www.answers.com/topic/post-office

The first organized system of post offices in America was created by the British Parliament in 1711, but as early as 1639 there was a post office in Boston. The mails were carried over a system of post roads; the New York City–Boston service was established in 1672. Postage stamps were first used in the United States in 1847; other developments were the registering of mail (1855), city delivery (1863), money orders (1864), and penny postcards (1873). Special-delivery service started in 1885, rural delivery in 1896, the postal savings system in 1911 (discontinued 1966), and parcel post in 1913. Mail was transmitted to the West Coast by the pony express of 1860–61. Mail service by railroad was instituted in 1862, and airmail in 1918.

....In the United States, postal service is under the direction of the U.S. Postal Service, having been reorganized in 1970 from the old Post Office Department. It is governed by an 11-member board, who choose a Postmaster General; since the reorganization, the Postmaster General is no longer a member of the cabinet. A separate five-member commission is charged with reviewing and approving rate changes proposed by the board. The U.S. Postal Service operates as an independent, self-supporting agency within the government.....

The Universal Postal Union (UPU), which facilitates the exchange of mail among nations, was established after the International Postal Convention of 1874; the UPU is now a specialized agency of the United Nations. Many governmental postal services have special divisions for serving stamp collectors (see philately). Since the early 1970s in the United States, private shipping services, such as Federal Express and United Parcel Service, have competed for special services, and by the 1990s electronic services such as fax (see facsimile) and electronic mail also cut into the postal service's business.

........

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761570...ted_States.html

United States Postal Service, independent agency within the executive department of the United States government, responsible for nationwide postal regulation and delivery. The postal system, formerly known as the Post Office Department, was reorganized as the U.S. Postal Service under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, which became effective in July 1971. The chief functions of the Postal Service are the collection and delivery of letters, parcel post, and printed matter, such as books, magazines, and newspapers, and the issuance of domestic and foreign money orders. The Postal Service handles more than 160 billion pieces of mail a year.

The changes in the postal system stemmed from four basic provisions of the Postal Reorganization Act: elimination of politics from postal management; adequate financing authority; establishment of a postal career service, allowing collective bargaining between management and employees; and creation of an independent commission for setting of postal rates.

The Postal Service is directed by an 11-member board of governors, 9 of whom are appointed by the president on a bipartisan basis with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. The nine governors appoint a tenth to be postmaster general; they then appoint a deputy postmaster general. The independent Postal Rate Commission has five members, appointed by the president. Tenure* in these offices is decided on the basis of performance rather than political affiliation; one purpose of this stipulation is to avoid needless discontinuity of the postal system, which formerly occurred in presidential election years. The Postal Service is authorized to borrow up to $10 billion from the general public, that is, from the Department of the Treasury, and can propose to the Postal Rate Commission changes in rates or classification of mail.

*in 1963 this was different, the history of appointment is one of 'jobs for the boys'.

The PMG in 1963 was a cabinet member attending daily meetings with the President.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

topical bump

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger Craig wrote:About 10:30 a.m. November 22, 1963, Bill Decker called into his office what I will refer to as his street people -- plain-clothes men, detectives and warrant men, myself included -- and told us that President Kennedy was coming to Dallas and that the motorcade would come down Main Street. He then advised us that we were to stand out in front of the building, 505 Main Street and represent the Sheriff's Office. We were to take no part whatsoever in the security of that motorcade.

N.B. By standing in front of the building at 505 Main St. it was impossible to see what, if anything, was happening over at the post-office building on Commerce St. I also wonder if anyone at all was permitted to remain in the building, in case they might have looked out of an upper- floor west- facing window and seen what might have been happening at the post-office building. Additionally, I recall reading a report that three workmen were walking north on Akard St. towards Elm St around 11:15 a.m. when they met a man carrying a rifle case walking quickly along the sidewalk in the direction of Commerce St. Their description of the rifle case matched Julie Ann Mercer's description of the rifle case which she claimed to have seen been being carried from the truck parked near the underpass at around 10:50 a.m.

Edited by Ed O'Hagan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, in 1968, while it was still the USPO, my dad took the Civil Service Test and was hired by the USPO to work in the small office in our hometown. The postmaster was a political appointee, and most of the employees at the time were Democrats. There were one or two Republicans, but they apparently were hired on the basis of merit rather than test scores + political affiliation. [One of the letter carriers was an ex-Marine, who got into the Post Office based primarily on a 15-point "preference" for disabled veterans...despite the fact that his was a MENTAL disability].

So Dad saw the changeover from the USPO to the USPS. In 1972, as a 18-year-old, I won a contract to lease a parcel-post vehicle to the local post office. The post office would use the station wagon to deliver parcels in town, and to drop off "relays" of sorted mail to "relay boxes" around town. The relay boxes were shaped like a traditional mail dropbox, but were painted an olive-drab green instead of the blue of a traditional mail dropbox, and had no letter slot.

When my contract vehicle suffered some vandalism on the Post Office lot, the Postal Inspection Service was called in. Dad told me that his understanding was that the Postal Inspectors had all the power and authority of an FBI or ATF agent, but weren't necessarily constrained by the same rules of evidence and procedure that conventional cops had to deal with...unofficially, of course. They were the "Dirty Harry" version of the Feds, as I was led to understand it...pun intended. Elloitt Ness couldn't have been any more "untouchable" than these guys.

And Harry Holmes seems to fit this sort of profile exactly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1993, the GAO found USPS relations to be acrimonious and confrontational, the product of “an autocratic management style, that included an adversarial union and employees.2 This confrontational style may have resulted in one of every twelve postal union members filing a grievance or complaint.3 Resolving those disputes cost the agency over $200 million a year.4

The Postal Service was also unable to handle equal employment opportunity complaints in a timely fashion, leading to a charge that “justice delayed was justice denied”.5 While the time-consuming, lengthy, adversarial process of exercising the grievance process continued, the prompt delivery of mail remained the inviolable priority of the Postal Service. The inflexibility of this requirement seemed incompatible with providing time for communication about “people problems" in employment disputes."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article....RTICLE_ID=23254

"Remember how the term "going postal" got started? For a while there, a few years back, it seemed like every disgruntled (which became the catchall adjective to describe any out-of-sorts employee) postal worker was walking into the office with a nervous twitch, firearm and a whopping score to settle.

These people are now deciding what's suspicious? Pardon me if I stay outside the place and drop my packages in the mail slot outdoors. While waiting in lines that challenge the DMV and communist grocery stores, I'm sure I've said a number of anti-post office stuff over the years within earshot of some Maxwell Smart behind the counter with the striped blue shirt and suspicion meter running on tilt. Considering that, for a number of those years, I had a shaved head, Wyatt Earp moustache and an armful of gun magazines, I was probably a prime candidate for a write-up.

Worse, nowadays I look respectable, mostly clean-shaven and walk in with a baby carriage. Must be a front for a drug kingpin.

The absurdity of all of this is mind-boggling.

Buying a money order – even a really big one – is perfectly legal. But if the numbers puncher thinks you might be laundering drug money with them, you're in big trouble. Never mind that you might be using the order to purchase a used car from a guy who is less than eager to take your personal check. Never mind the fact that maybe you forgot to order new checks from the bank and need a money order to pay your rent.

Even though the act itself is perfectly legal, by purchasing any postal money products, customers invite postal workers to stop playing clerk and start playing narc. Why a guy might look like an illicit druggist to a clerk is the scary part. How in the name of the Pony Express are these cash register regents supposed to finger a drug suspect?

No problem, right? They've seen "Cops." They know what a drug dealer looks like. Heck, "Law and Order" is probably their favorite TV show. Great.

It's bad enough when trained law enforcement officers get involved in profiling criminals. Now we've got keypad jockeys getting in on all the fun. Want to lay odds on how many completely innocent customers are going to have their names scribbled on a "suspicious activity report"?

The Postal Service doesn't seem worried by the prospect. According to a training video for the program, "It's better to report 10 legal transactions than to let one illegal transaction get by." Hear that gang? In the name of law and order, we get to take one for the team – or nine to be more accurate.

"Everybody must admit that the Post Office, as a branch of Government, is an institution obviously and inevitably liable to the most prodigious abuses," wrote New York Plaindealer columnist William Leggett in 1837."[/color]

_________________________________________

In 1963 the USPS (United States Postal Service) was not yet in existence. The relevant government department was the USPO (United States Post Office).

Some of the changes in the new Post Service were significant not least of all the relationship that the Post Master General had to the President.

******************************************************

May I add my two cents to this dissertation? In 1982, when I had been relocated to what is known out here on the "left" coast, as The Inland Empire, I found it hard to find a job doing Nuclear Medicine in any of the hospitals and medical centers, in and around the San Bernardino area. I saw an ad in the classifieds for a position at the United States Post Office of Riverside County, which is adjacent to San Bernardino County, and answered it.

I was required to sit for a test which would determine my classification and eligibility for employment with the Riverside County U.S. Postal Service. I passed with flying colors and was classified as ineligible. Why? Because I was considered to be over-qualified to do the job.

Does that kind of give you an idea of what type of mindset the Post Office was considering to hire as employees? I look at it this way. What you see, is what you get. Narrow your playing field down to the lowest possible achievers in society and that's what you'll eventually end up reaping the grapes of wrath for, in the form of some kind of psycho-pathological behavior. If seemingly any D-grade student can go in an barely pass the test, yet be hired over someone who makes a perfect grade, then what does that tell you? The lowest achievers are thought to be easier to manipulate, to be more agreeable to being treated as beasts of burden, or maybe some supervisor might be afraid for his own job, and that a smart-ass newcomer might somehow be perceived as a threat to his job security? Maybe? If you're going to hire the dregs of society to do a job, without further investigation into their backgrounds, then don't be surprised when Joe Blow from Kokomo, opens up with an automatic rifle or pistol on your crew one morning, and think it's because he didn't have his morning cup of coffee.

I'm sure security has been tightened up considerably since the early 1990's when this phenomena first reared its ugly head. And, I'm almost certain that there are more extensive examinations, as well as medical profiling taking place these days, as a counter measure in preventing the occurrence of any future re-enactments. But, the fact remains that in selecting from the bottom of the barrel you run the risk of unforeseen backlash, which may have absolutely nothing to do with the way the place of employment is run, and all to do with the mental stability of an individual chosen for, what was misconstrued as, a "Keep it simple, stupid." personality aspect, that ended up turning into a fatal personality "flaw."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are just a few of the questions (in no particular order or importance), many of them arising from Harry's testimonies, that have not been answered.

And not least: Why are these questions generally of no interest?

I personally have not focused on Holmes, but Ian Griggs has a chapter on Holmes in NO CASE TO ANSWER. This is an expanded version of his Lancer piece here:

http://www.jfklancer.com/Holmes.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Dad saw the changeover from the USPO to the USPS.

Mark, this is a particular period that (IMO) is very important.

The change your father lived through when the USPO became the USPS and the relationship changes that happened (the PMG no longer a cabinet memeber as had been for centuries.) , where the old records ended up and the large scale retirements (including Harry in 1969) and where the old employees are today and what they may have to say leaves the researcher in the field with a vaccuum, perhaps at this stage only fillable by oral histories.

From here, on the outskirts of western 'civilisation'. the access to resources is limited. Ian Griggs has provided some informaton, Harry has provided some himself. I know Ian knows more than he wants to divulge (anything to increase royalties I suppose?) There are some very important questions that remain unanswered, that if answers can be found AND made available, that significant aspects of the conspiracy to obscure the truth about Kennedy's assassination will cause a crack in the facade that will lead to many other unanswered questions.

SO:: thank you all for the diverse information. At this time my hope is that further diversity and farranging and not necessarily immediately seemingly significant information will be continued to be provided.

Something that someone writes may make something click for someone else and so on. Thank you all.

possible flags, keywords to keep in mind may be ASC, DCC, and other groupings with member lists etc

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the USPO days, the job of postmaster was one ultimately decided by political patronage. In the region around Louisville, KY, the main arbiter of postal patronage jobs was Bremer Ehrler, postmaster of the main Louisville post office and thereby also head of regional mail service that emanated from Louisville into nearby southern Indiana. After the changeover to the USPS, Ehrler resigned his postal position and became a power broker for the Democratic Party in Louisville and Jefferson County, KY. Ehrler never held a major political office, although he ran for several over the years.

Dad always said than one who worked in the post office always knew what was going on in his local community...whose mail was being sent to an address different from his/her spouse, who came back from a Vegas vacation and subsequently purchased a large money order destined for some casino, and how that person's ransomed jewelry would return from that casino via registered mail in a few days...but the details weren't revealed outside the confines of the particular post office. If there was an investigation by the Postal Inspectors taking place, some of that information might be sought by the inspectors.

So I would suppose that, had Oswald's transactions through the mail raised the suspicions of any postal clerk, the Postal Inspection Service would have been notified, and someone like Harry would have known nearly as much about Oswald at 12:29 pm on November 22, 1963 as Oswald himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"one who worked in the post office always knew what was going on in his local community..."

Absolutely, yet one tends to take this as just 'local color'. The pal behind the desk. A perfect guise for intel operatives. It's such a part of everyones life and ones rights in that regard is enshrined in the constitution to some extent, but as we well know now that did/does not stop those in a position to do so to share that knowledge with various agencies. In a City like Dallas in those days, the notion that anyone ordering rifles, pistols and Communist material and not come under the watchful eye of The Postal Inspection Department and through that the DPD, FBI, CIA and whoever else the PI officer may confide in is plainly ridiculous.

With Harry as DPD confidant, FBI informant, a hop skip and jump away from the CIA leadership, and if Peter Lemkins info is correct, a member of Military Intelligence, well...????

I think one of the most important questions in need of answering is "Who were the other 4 or 5 people watching yhe assassination from Harry's Office overlooking the Plaza?"

Harry himself, while elsewhere in statements, taking great pride in a near photographic memory, has this answer "I can't remember"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"one who worked in the post office always knew what was going on in his local community..."

The Cuckoo bird clears the nest...?

Roger Hilsman as Assistant Secretary for the Far East : "Bobby Kennedy, he you know, he told Bobby Kennedy that he ought to run for governor of Massachusetts, you see. Bobby confounded him by running for the Senate… He wanted to get rid of me, Lyndon Johnson did. Well, Johnson's a very clever man. When he wanted to get rid of Grenowski*, who was the Postmaster General, he offered him the chance of being the first American ambassador to Poland. he offered me... he found out that I'd spent part of my childhood in the Philippines, and he tried to persuade me to become ambassador to the Philippines, but that was just to keep me quiet,..."

and in just a few years the USPO was dismantled and replaced with the USPS. Harry Holmes and many others had by then resigned.

What happened to all the USPO Postal Inspection Service records?

*Kennedy's chosen successor to Post Master General J.E. Day, who reisgned in August 1963.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...