I received an email today that referenced the U.S. “Domestic Mail Manual” (“DMM). I have a physical copy of that manual because a number of intelligent people believe that use of the mail–and especially things like Zip Codes–can be used as evidence that you are a “person” doing business or otherwise transacting in the territory of “this state”. The people that I know of who’ve studied the “mail” issue rely on an astute reading of the DMM to extricate themselves from liability to the national government.
I haven’t studied that issue, but I understand that the word “domestic” probably implicates the singular “United States” and its territories and may therefore be hazardous to our health.
So, in yet another instance of Why-Didn’t-I-Think-Of-This-Sooner? (like ten or fifteen years ago), when I saw today’s reference to the “Domestic Mail Manual,” it occurred to me that using the Domestic Mail Manual as a legal authority to escape the venue of “this state”–which I suspect may also be described as the “domestic to the United States” venue–might be self-defeating.
I.e, if “this state” is synonymous with the plane/venue of the “domestic” United States, what are the odds that the Domestic Mail Manual will help you to evade the “domestic” venue? Not too high, I’d bet.
Even so, I believe that our entry into the plane or venue of “this state” is always presumed by the gov-co to be voluntary. If anything is voluntary, that implies that there must be a choice between at least two options. For example, if my entry into the territory of “this state” is truly presumed to be voluntary, then I am entitled to choose one of the following: 1) I agree to enter into the plane/venue of “this state”; or 2) I refuse to enter into the plane/venue of “this state”.
Therefore, it’s possible that the Domestic Mail Manual may include information that, closely read, will admit your authority and your “right to choose” to enter into, or stay out of the “domestic” plane or venue served by the Domestic Mail Manual. Thus, the DMM may not only be extremely helpful–but might be the only authority we need to create evidence that we are not “in this state”.
For example, I believe there’s a section in the DMM that expressly applies to and allows “non-domestic” mail. That section (which I do not recall) may be evidence that: 1) we really do have a right to choose to enter into “this state” or to refuse such entrance; and 2) the domestic “United States” may be “this state” while the non-domestic “United States” may refer to the several States of the Union.
But it still crossed my mind that, if the Domestic Mail Manual applies to the territory of “this state,” that there might be another “mail manual” that applies to those beings and entities outside of the “non-domestic” plane/venue of “this state”.
I Googled “Non-Domestic Mail Manual” and found no express reference to that term.
So, what else?
I Googled “Foreign Mail Manual” and found no hits.
So I tried “International Mail Manual”. (After all, if “domestic” applies to that which is within the boundaries of the singular, territorial “United States,” then that which is outside of that “domestic” plane/venue might be viewed as “international”.)
And, Ta-Da!–I received 73,200 “hits” for the “International Mail Manual” (“IMM”)
Google produced a list of all those hits at: https://www.google.com/search?q=International+Mail+Manual&sugexp=chrome,mod=16&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22International+Mail+Manual%22&oq=%22International+Mail+Manual%22&gs_l=serp.3..0l22.214.171.124.15126.96.36.199.0.0.0.299.299.2-1.1.0.les%3B..0.0…1c.1.I9QbjdTXHx0&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=8d922e7564b14b7d&biw=1323&bih=653
That list included:
1) A link to the USPS website dealing with the IMM at http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/welcome.htm
2) A link to a the 748-page, USPS “International Mail Manual” (IMM) at: http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/imm/full/imm.pdf
I haven’t read the IMM. I’ve only skimmed the Table of Contents. But I noticed in that Table that there were U.S. Customs forms that were to be used under certain circumstances when someone outside the (domestic?) United States mailed certain products into the United States. I won’t be surprised to learn that there may also be some required procedures and/or forms that should be used whenever you mail a letter from a foreign country like England, Uganda or Indonesia into the “domestic” United States.
If any such forms or procedures are required for mail emanating from a foreign country, I wonder what would happen if I sent a letter from my venue within The State of Texas (a State of the Union and therefore “foreign” and presumably “non-domestic” to the territorial “United States”) to some other entity (a prosecutor? court? plaintiff?) that is purportedly located “in this state”.
Is it possible that by means of using such forms or procedures for mail from foreign countries in conjunction with mail from The State of Texas that I would enhance and support my claim of acting in the plane/venue outside the “domestic” plane/venue of “this state”?
Conversely, is it possible that by failing to use such forms for “foreign” mail (assuming such forms even exist) that any mail I send–even that which expressly references “The State of Texas”–will still be presumed to be “domestic” and thus subject me to the plane/venue of “this state”?
• Note that we should not try affixing “foreign” forms to our mail until we are sure that such procedure is warranted and lawful. If my conjecture is mistaken, and someone tries attach forms suitable for “foreign” mail to mail sent from within even The State of Texas, we might be risking prosecution for mail fraud. Therefore, this is not a speculative strategy that should be engaged in without a lot of research and preliminary consideration.
More, we might try a strategy implied by this article and find the employees at the Post Office just laugh at us. Maybe this potential strategy is simply more evidence that some of us have our tin-foil hats on a little too tight.
But I don’t mind being laughed at. If someone at the Post Office can prove that all of my conjecture concerning the alternative venue of “this state” is pure malarkey, I will sincerely thank them. All I want in terms of venue is to be recognized as acting within the borders of The State of Texas–a member-State of the perpetual Union styled “The United States of America”. If I can be recognized as acting in that plane/venue, I’m a happy camper. I don’t care if I reach that venue by a sophisticated application of some technology based on the International Mail Manual, or if I get there on a wave of official laughter from those in government who declare that the concept of “this state” is silly.
In terms of venue, all I want is to be recognized as acting within a State of the Union. However I get there is cool with me.
All of the previous potential strategy is conjectural. I don’t know when I’ll have time to read enough of the IMM to discover if my conjecture is reasonable or irrational.
But I’m hoping that some of you either already know how to answer my questions, or have enough time on your hands to dig a little deeper into the IMM.