By Mike Rogers

Unbeknownst to most Americans, I'm sure, people outside of the USA can no longer mail you packages if that package weighs more than 1 pound (453 grams). That's the total weight including packaging. One pound is not very heavy.

My seven-year-old son just received a beautiful electronic building set for his birthday from a girl who is his seven-year-old friend in Arizona. My son loves it. With that set, you can build all sorts of electrical projects; lights, on-off switches, fans, you-name-it. The set is high quality. That, and the book she sent him, was easily over one pound.

Too bad he is unable to repay the favor.

Of course, we try to teach our son manners and kindness; if you wish to receive mail, you write mail. If you get a present, you must write back thanks. To receive, you must give.

In this case, Christmas is coming up and so he felt it was best to give a present back to his friend who sent the birthday present. Quite understandable and I agree.

Since my son is only seven and has no job, it is up to dad and mom to finance such operations as buying gifts and we are happy to do so when the occasion seems right. I took my son shopping and he chose some Hello Kitty items and a book for his seven-year-old girlfriend.

We wrapped the packages and took them to the post office to send to the USA this morning. Alas, while at the post office, we were told that the US Department of Homeland Security has stated that there can be no more mailing of packages that weigh over 1 pound unless we can provide the Social Security number of the recipient.

Bravo! Homeland Security! I am so pleased to see you on the front line of America's safety! One can never be too careful you know.


Always be proactive to make sure kids don't run, jump and have fun as they might hurt themselves… And never, but never, go into the swimming pool until you've learned to swim... So I applaud your caution.

But, darn it if I don't have a few simple questions:

In what manner shall I inquire to this little seven-year-old girl's father about this young ladies' Social Security number? If the father asks, "Why?" How shall I explain that we (Homeland Security and I) are working together to protect her freedom by invading her privacy? And from whom are we protecting her? Are we protecting her from an over-weight Hello Kitty?

Also, I'm not sure, but I do think something like a Social Security number like this is private information, is it not? Aren't people running around these days involved in identity thefts that are sniffing for that sort of information?

How does making an arbitrary limit of one pound stop anyone from sending dangerous materials?

Also, how does providing you with a Social Security number relate to protecting people from terrorists?

Hmmm… I've been thinking about this and figure that I must be just too dumb to see...

Oh, and my final question to Homeland Security:

If my seven-year-old sends the envelop to his seven-year-old girlfriend, sealed with a kiss, will that require extra postage or a DNA check?