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Day 132 – We Are Cataloging Your Appalling and Numerous Misdeeds, Lies and Poor Behaviors, Mr. President.

Day 132 – We Are Cataloging Your Appalling and Numerous Misdeeds, Lies and Poor Behaviors, Mr. President.

Photograph by BeyondDC

Dear Mr. President,

I have been dismayed, or, more accurately, appalled at what I’ve witnessed during the past Presidential campaign and the first 100 days plus of your administration.  I provide you with a list of behaviors I’ve noticed that disturb me. I will not give details; other letters have provided those:

  1. Your admission to being a sexual predator.
  2. Your “mimicking” of a disabled reporter.
  3. Your bullying behavior toward others.
  4. The mean-spiritedness language in your campaign speeches.
  5. Your misogyny as witnessed in numerous videos of your treatment of Melania and heads of State.
  6. Your lies – refusing to accept facts.
  7. Your “pot calling the kettle black” attitude as you accuse others of the very behaviors you exhibit.
  8. Your disrespect of news reporters – and anyone else who disagrees with you.
  9. Your selection of white supremacists as White House advisors.
  10. Your policies: the Muslim ban, health care policy that ignores the most needy, tax reform that takes from the poor and gives to the rich and to an already bloated military, the multi-billion dollar wall between the U.S. and Mexico, the removal of social safety nets for the poor, and, most importantly, your refusal to acknowledge that our planet is in crisis.
  11. Your weird, aggressive handshakes with heads of state, and your refusal to shake hands with a female head of state.
  12. Your inadequate use of the English language.
  13. Your arrogant and rude behavior.
  14. Your ignorance of how democracy and the universe works.
  15. The tax dollars that go to your regular and frequent golf outings (in spite of your criticism of the handful of golf outings Obama made in his entire 8 years), to your two residences (one for you and one for your wife), and all the extra security needed.

During your recent trip abroad to visit European and Middle East countries, you demonstrated this rudeness and arrogance.  It was an embarrassing display for a President:

  1. You lied to the French President about supporting him in the recent French election. He and the world knows that you applauded Marine LePen.
  2. You tried your weird handshake on President Macron — twice. Fortunately, and to Macron’s credit, you were unsuccessful.
  3. You offered your private cell phone number to Macron.
  4. You pushed your way to the front row for a photo op in Montenegro, shoving the Prime Minister of that country aside.
  5. In your speech to NATO, you lectured the other heads of state about not contributing enough, demonstrating your ignorance of NATO and your hypocrisy since you refuse to pay your debts.
  6. You rode in a golf cart for 700 yards while the other dignitaries walked. Yet you accused Hillary of not having enough stamina to be President.
  7. You complained that it wasn’t easy to open a business in Scotland and Ireland.
  8. You made an arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And at the same time, you say you want to “pursue PEACE in the world.” And that a “waste of taxpayer money is unacceptable.”

Are you aware that this is how the world views you?  It’s difficult for me to understand how you could be so self-unaware.  Even the children who have written you letters see you as mean and unhappy, as not caring, as someone who puts “yucky stuff in the air and water,” and urge you to “make better choices” and “not let there be more guns and weapons.”

I don’t think a few tweaks in your behaviors is going to help you change what we see.  Nor will tweaks make you a better president or person.  You seem to have no moral center.  Only a drastic make-over of your world view will suffice.

I’ve also noticed that you do not seem to be a fan of any religion, nor of scientific evidence.  Nevertheless, I suggest you take a look at Buddhist thought and practice, which aligns with the current scientific understanding of the universe, which is holistic and recognizes that everything is connected.  John Muir expressed this when he said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”  The Universe is not based on business and economics.

Buddhists speak of three poisons:  greed, anger, and ignorance.  You seem to have these attributes in abundance.  Buddhism provides a list of Precepts and practices to alleviate these poisons.  They are:

  1. Affirm life. Do not kill.
  2. Be giving. Do not steal.
  3. Honor the body. Do not misuse sexuality.
  4. Manifest truth. Do not lie
  5. Perceive clearly. Do not cloud the mind.
  6. See the perfection. Do not speak of others’ faults or errors.
  7. Realize self and other as one. Do not elevate the self and put down others.
  8. Give generously. Let go of holding back.
  9. Actualize harmony. Do not indulge in anger.
  10. Experience the intimacy of things. Do not disparage truth, change, and community.

I hope you will consider taking these precepts to heart.  What you say and do affects everything else.  You could change course.  Consider the following mantra:

In due season will I speak, not out of season.

In truth will I speak, not in falsehood.

Gently will I speak, not harshly.

For the benefit of the other will I speak, not for their loss.

In kindness will I speak, not anger.




Day 131 – We Know. The Pope’s Letter Was Long, Mr. President. Here’s a Shorter Missive on Renewable Energy.

Day 131 – We Know. The Pope’s Letter Was Long, Mr. President. Here’s a Shorter Missive on Renewable Energy.

Photograph by Ian D. Keating

Dear Mr. President,

This letter feels unimportant in comparison to the one recently gifted to you by the Pope: a nearly 200-page document engaging the truth that is climate change and proposing the unprecedented idea that science and religion might work together to strike a balance in maintaining the natural world. What a brave gesture. In this, the pope recognizes that prayer alone will not be enough to protect our environment. It takes a synchronized community.

The relationship that many Christians hold with church strongly correlates with the bond between outdoorsmen and the earth. For me, the act of prayer can be as centering, humbling, and rewarding as climbing a rock face or hiking a ridge line. The community that is brought together under a shared love of God holds little contrast to the community that reveres the natural world and seeks to explore it together. We are all bound by the fact that we believe, deeply, in something greater than us, whether that is God or whether that is the Earth, or whether it is both. Pope Francis holds a beautiful, poignant hope.

I find your rhetoric often creates “others” out of those who do not hold the same values as you (though it often remains unclear as to what, exactly, you value). Pope Francis suggests the opposite: that there is a chance at collaboration, at recognizing that we are not so different after all. To protect the environment is to protect God’s creations, and that is an act of love.

The Pope’s letter, undoubtedly, is a proactive, thoughtful attempt to prevent you from dropping out of the Paris Agreement. But its meaning should extend farther than that. This is not just a global issue. It is, at its core, an American issue.

America lags behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to energy efficiency. Europe and Scandinavia have consistently created less waste and strengthened their standards for energy efficiency. The EU’s Europe 2020 plan will have every member country operating on a minimum of 20% renewable energy by 2020. Sweden is on track to be fully clean-powered by 2040, while Denmark has set 2050 as their realistic goal.

China and India, too, are becoming leaders in sustainability. China recently dedicated $360 billion to switching to renewable energies through 2020, and has allocated another $14.5 billion to help workers that have been displaced by these changes find new jobs. India, meanwhile, is rapidly becoming the center of the solar energy market.

Iceland, however, is undoubtedly the world leader in terms of sustainability. They will successfully be run completely on clean energy by 2020, largely in debt to their unmatched dedication to the under-studied hydrogen power as a resource.

So where does the U.S. stand in comparison?

The U.S. has experienced steady growth in the renewable market, but our efforts do not yet compare to those of the countries above. Just 15% of our domestically produced electricity is renewable. Only 1% of that power comes from solar energy, arguably the most efficient source. We have an 85% gap to fill until we are fully powered by clean energy.

States such as California are working to reduce their carbon footprint by changing over to renewable energies (California is now run on 80% renewable energy as of this year), requiring lower vehicle emissions, and banning items such as plastic bags. States like Louisiana and Texas, meanwhile, lag far behind in introducing strong, environmentally friendly legislation. The gap between these efforts is a federal issue that needs to be addressed.

I believe, also, that part of protecting the environment comes with respecting it. Your proposal to rollback protections on national monuments would open them up for drilling, fracking, and mining: destructive power sources that will soon be considered obsolete. I recall driving from Albuquerque to Philadelphia last November, and listening to the election on NPR as I passed through the Texas panhandle. I was not supremely fearful of having you as our leader. Now, however, you intend to allow Secretary Zinke to modify and downsize several public lands, most notably the newly-protected Bears Ears monument (land that was specially protected at the request of Native peoples) and that scares me.

I want you to take the Pope’s letter to heart. Commit to switching to renewables and to making America a leader in the sustainable world. From a business perspective, your inability to see the market potential in the clean energy fields is shocking. An excellent way to bring jobs to America, promote a healthy agenda, and capitalize on the economic wealth of this field would be to dedicate efforts toward consistently improving and creating green technologies.

With all of this in mind, here is what I ask of you:

  • Stay in the Paris Agreement. It will be expensive. It will promise a healthy future for our planet and our kids. Dropping out will only create more enemies and put us at greater risk.
  • Mandate clean energy legislation at a federal level. There is no room to fall behind anymore. Inconsistency will create even greater rifts amongst voter pools.
  • Dedicate research to the potential use of hydrogen power. Create more jobs by guaranteeing the employment of greater wind, solar, hydro and geothermal infrastructures. Set a goal to achieve 100% clean energy efficiency.
  • And finally, don’t rollback protections on public lands under the Antiquities Act. These lands are my church and, as an American, I expect to maintain my freedom of religion.



Day 130 – You Could Learn Some Solid Lessons From Melania, Mr. President.

Day 130 – You Could Learn Some Solid Lessons From Melania, Mr. President.

Photograph by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Dear Mr. President,

I have been following your first NATO and G-7 summits closely, and clearly it did not go very well Mr. President. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, said afterwards that traditional unions were no longer as strong as they once were and urged that Europe “really take our fate into our own hands.” So many cringing, embarrassing moments, Mr. President, the worse one being when you lectured NATO alliance members on Thursday, trying to persuade them to pay their “fair share” on defense. You keep exhibiting a lack of understanding when it comes to how NATO funding works, Mr. President.

Yet, your trip could have gone a smidgen better. From what I read, Melania tried helping you a bit. Seeing as she was in Italy, she personally selected a jacket by Milan designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (yes, it was $51,000 and further solidified how she’s not like us, commoners, but she tried). She also attended two children’s hospital, and met the Pope, who seemed to give her, not you, a warm reception. These attempts did not go unnoticed, the world was watching, and that is an opportunity for you, Mr. President. You’re going to need all the help you can get and who else could be better than someone you can trust, your wife of 12 years, Melania?

What tells me she could be helpful? It was the viral, hand-swatting video that took over my Facebook a few days ago that gave me a clue to her personality. I feel that maybe, just maybe, she has some well-needed energy and can help with some basic advice in more mundane situations, such as how to walk, and how to walk with others. You see, that video told me she has some common sense. In the video, she was being ignored by you, as always,  and also crowded out of the red carpet you were supposed to share; she became aware of you taking center stage, and took action, hence the hand slap. As a feisty woman myself, I have to say that was one of her better moments, the two-second event says character, says fearlessness, and screams of some much-needed, basic common sense. We all know the old saying, “Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great woman standing behind him.” Want to be a better man, Mr. President? Follow you wife’s instincts; it may not bring about world peace or stop global warming, but it’s a good beginning.



Day 129 – How Are You Honoring Our Service Members and Veterans, Mr. President?

Day 129 – How Are You Honoring Our Service Members and Veterans, Mr. President?

Photograph by the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Dear Mr. President,

I am not a part of the military community. The last members of my family to serve were my grandfathers and great uncles in WWII. I have a lovely photo of Uncle Robert standing with his crew next to his Boeing B-17. My paternal grandfather didn’t let childhood polio stop him from serving in the European Theatre. He marched alongside his Army mates with a size 8 boot on one foot, and a size 11 on the other. My own father missed the Vietnam draft, then fathered five daughters, each of whom grew never directly knowing the horrors of a major war.

I think Memorial Day represents many things to different people. It is a time to remember the sacrifices made to keep not just America, but the rest of the world as well, safe from tyranny. I am so thankful that my forebears are not here to witness your decimation of our Constitutionally-given rights.

Let’s take a quick gander at what you’ve done for our veterans and military families.

  1. Federal Hiring Freeze – “You’re amazing people, great people,” you said to the Retired American Warriors PAC. Did you know that veterans make up almost one third of the federal workforce? Not only are retiring military personnel unable to secure federal jobs, those who have managed to hold onto their positions have taken pay cuts. Many active-duty service members have had to leave the service early. How will they provide for themselves? Their families?
  2. You attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Gold Star parents.
  3. You ridiculed former prisoner of war, John McCain. Didn’t you defer your service five times? Isn’t that cowardice?
  4. You basked in the applause for Carryn Owen’s grief, then ducked responsibility for the botched mission. Your indignities know no bounds.
  5. And Veterans Affairs? You promised to fix that. You won by a two-to-one margin promising an overhaul of the VA. You lied. How is leaving 1,000 open positions at the VA unfilled helping our service members’ transition to civilian life? How does it help them survive PTSD? Who will talk them down off the ledge if no one is at the VA to pick up the suicide hotline?

Many people feel that instead of making our country great again, you’ve caused it to hit rock bottom. And they are excited because they can read the writing on the wall.



A person can dream. And write letters. And vote.



Day 128 – Yeah. Poverty is a State of Mind, Mr. President. At Least According to Ben Carson.

Day 128 – Yeah. Poverty is a State of Mind, Mr. President. At Least According to Ben Carson.

Photograph by J J

Dear Mr. President,

Dr. Ben Carson, Your Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said in an interview this past Wednesday that having “the wrong mindset” contributes to poverty, that “poverty to a large extent is a state of mind.”

We’ve heard this rhetoric before.  Those in poverty need to “pick themselves up by the bootstraps,” that disability payments enable those in poverty, and even that those in poverty are lazy.

Given the health care bill under consideration in addition to your budget released this week, I can only assume you agree with this.

Perhaps you’re right, now that I think about it.  Why help the poor?  If those lazy, no good, leeches sucking America’s lifeblood were worthwhile they’d get off their butts and get to work!  Yeah, take away Medicare, that’ll teach ‘em!  Sure, the CBO says 23 million will lose health insurance (hello Emergency Rooms!) over the next ten years.  Once those no-gooders realize the only way to get health care is to get back to work, they’ll have no problem finding full-time employment with health benefits.

I mean, you did it, right?  You worked yourself up from nothing (well, at least a million dollars, but what’s a million bucks, right?).  If you did it all those poverty-mindset-disability-addicted-fraudster Americans need is a little kick in the behind and they can be as successful as you.

And if they don’t get a job, that’s even better! Let’s hope Malthus was right, as society grows and we lack the capability (or will) to care for the entire population, those at the bottom will be stricken with disease and famine.  Perfect!  Let ‘em die without healthcare and starve without money.  Once they’re gone think about how great America is going to be (again)! This is the BEST plan.  Applause Mr. President.

Now, there is that thing about those poverty stricken Americans voting for you.  Eh, you got your use out of them, right.  Why cater to them any longer?  Let ‘em get sick, let ‘em die. (Hey, that’s kind of catchy – maybe a song title Kid Rock could use for your re-election campaign?)

Let’s do be sure though to stick copies of The Art of the Deal in those crowded ER waiting rooms, ok?  You know, just to give those sad-sacks something to read while they contemplate things like how much their routine health care is now going to cost.  Like how they are going to lose their house because they couldn’t get health insurance due to their cancer (What a LOSER, right?  Getting cancer.) Like how their government is BETRAYING them by not upholding basic human rights.  Like how their president has stabbed them in the back with his hypocrisy about health care.

Just do one thing for me before you sign the death sentences of so many Americans.  Read this.  Who am I kidding, there’s no way you’ll do that.  Let me give you the short version. This country was formed on the basis that “all men are created equal.” Not just healthy men, rich men, men with jobs, all men.  And that those men, when faced with “abuses…under absolute Despotism, it is their right, their duty, to throw off such Government…” So just know that while you can take the position that those in poverty are not to be bothered with, you will be voted out accordingly (if you make it that long), as those revolutionaries overthrew the British.

So I suppose you’re correct!  You are going to make America great again, by reminding us what we truly stand for – everything you are not.



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