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Day 466 – Letter to Congress: Mayday! The Ship Is Going Down and You Have Jumped In The Last Lifeboat.

Day 466 – Letter to Congress: Mayday! The Ship Is Going Down and You Have Jumped In The Last Lifeboat.

Image from Pinterest

Dear Congress,

Mayday!

I would scream the international cry for help if I thought it would make any difference. We all know it won’t.  You’ve checked out carrying your pensions, your lifetime healthcare, your book deals, your mistresses, and your corporate sponsored off-shore tax sheltered bank accounts. Sweet deal.

We didn’t hear the part of your oath of office where you added the suffix “ish” and the disclaimer “maybe.” We didn’t notice your hand slip off the Bible and the Qur’an to the MAD Magazine hidden underneath. Saddest of all we trusted you.  We may not agree with your philosophy of economics or justice. We might have grown up in different ethnic and religious homes and communities. But we trusted you had the best of the country at heart; if not for us, at least for your own family and self-interest.

We thought your children and grandchildren might need to breathe clean air, and drink pure water. We thought they might be renewed by walks in the great woods, sailing into an inspiring sunset, catching tasty fish, living in peace, enjoying democracy. We believed you would want your family to gasp in wonder at the Grand Canyon, at Bryce, and Zion. We assumed you would want your grandchildren to stand beside the giant Sequoia trees and Redwoods.  We believed they would want to watch the fireflies at night dancing over the heads of the miles of wheat and oats growing in the fertile breadbasket of the world.

We believed you would want your cousins and grandkids and the children in your town to have great educations.  You’d want your doctor, lawyer, neighborhood cop, fireman, computer shop tech, and auto mechanic to be good citizens. We thought you might desire a society where your kids could go to school, a movie, the mall, or church without the fear of being murdered by military assault weapons held in the hands of the mentally ill, the socially deviant or the hate-filled bully.

We thought we agreed that education trumps ignorance, kindness trumps hatred, benevolence trumps greed, democracy trumps tyranny, and rationality and science trump superstition and fantasy.

We, silly us, assumed you wanted the best for your family…and, by extension, all of us. We were, of course, wrong.

You’ve checked out. You’re lost in the wilderness of greed, fear, and tribalism. You’ve sold us all out to the interests of international corporations…whose children and grandchildren also, amazingly, don’t seem to need to breathe or drink or live in freedom.

There are a few, a very, very few of you who remember that Congress is an equal branch of government.  Your role is to represent the best interests of all of your constituents and the nation.  Your role is to check the excesses of a runaway President.  You have the obligation to challenge power when any part of the government threatens the Constitution.  But we know in this Congress, Trump trumps all other vows, obligations, and authority.

We have screamed MAYDAY.  You have walked away.  Our only recourse is to find new representatives – a full House and Senate cleaning.  Maybe a new Congress will hear our call for help before it is too late.  Before gas and oil cover the whole earth and despoil the oceans.  Before the great forests are clear cut and the grasslands wasted. Before we fall into the next incarnation of the Dark Ages.  Before the Trump kleptocracy divides the world into a few corporate oligarchies, concentrating the wealth in a few dynastic families, and leaving all humanity in poverty and ruin.

mayday, mayday, mayday…..November 6, 2018.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 465 – Letter to Fellow Citizens: The Ascendance of Trump is Part of An Assault on American Democracy.

Day 465 – Letter to Fellow Citizens: The Ascendance of Trump is Part of An Assault on American Democracy.

Image from the East Bay Times by Marian Kamensky of Austria

Dear Fellow Citizens,

We live in scary times.  The ascendance of the man in the White House was no accident.  Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their ilk have been systematically planning and working toward this moment for 40 years.  Their assault on American democracy, with secrecy, deception, and dark money front groups was easy given their enormous wealth.  And it is blatantly obvious to anyone paying attention that they’ve succeeded in controlling the Republican party and most of our government operations.  What is the evidence?

  • Restrictions on political spending by corporations and the rich have been killed.
  • Voting rights of students, people of color, the elderly, and anyone who opposes Republican policies and candidates are being suppressed.
  • Labor unions are being destroyed.
  • The rights of consumers, workers, organizations working for “We, the people” to sue corporations and instead forcing them into arbitration is being eliminated.
  • Social safety nets (food stamps, jobless benefits, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid) are being shredded.
  • Regulations that protect people and the environment from outrageous corporate abuse are being axed.
  • The rights of local communities to pass laws are being preempted by corporations who oppose them.
  • Our democracy is being subverted through gerrymandering.
  • Our courts are being packed with pro-corporate judges.

Have I forgotten anything?  I’m sure I have.  The effect of these and hundreds of other attacks on national, state, and local communities is cumulative.  And the wealthy few are taking more and more of our country’s wealth.  As the song goes, “Them’s that got shall get, and them’s that’s not shall lose.”  And the rest of us are losing.

Call it what you will.  I call it a coup.  Only the slow, but deliberate stealth of this plan has kept the public unaware.  Now, with Trump in the White House they don’t even try to keep it a secret, and we need to see it and be outraged.

This is not the first coup attempt.  Fortunately, the first one failed.  It’s not found in history books, but an attempt at the first coup occurred during the Great Depression in 1933.  Wall Street multibillionaires (bosses of DuPont, Colgate, General Foods, GM), enraged by FDR’s “socialism” attempted to replace FDR with a military-backed government of capitalists.  They hired a retired Marine general, Smedley Darlington Butler, to lead this takeover, who, in an alliance with an investigative reporter, Paul French, brought evidence to the US House.  (see The Plots Against the President by Sally Denton, 2011).  It would seem that the current group of billionaires is familiar with this plot and came up with better tactics.

The scary times we live in are well documented in two books:  The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein; and Dark Money:  The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer.  If you read Stephen King’s books (I have not) and find them scary, they pale by comparison to the “scary” in these two books.  I recommend them.  Knowledge of the tactics of those in charge of this coup is the beginning of a good defense – and offense.

We, the people, have work to do.

Sincerely,

A concerned citizen

And Letters2Trump

Day 464 – Letter to Voters in New York District 19: Don’t Let the Haters Get You Down. NY 19 Is A Winnable Race!

Day 464 – Letter to Voters in New York District 19: Don’t Let the Haters Get You Down. NY 19 Is A Winnable Race!

Image from The Daily Freeman

Dear NY 19 Voters,

We in NY 19 are suffering from an embarrassment of riches. We currently have seven candidates running in the June 26, 2018 Democratic primary for the honor of beating the current seat holder, Republican John “No-Show” Faso (soubriquet thanks to his unwillingness to hold open Town Hall meetings for his constituents—he prefers fund raisers and his own kind).

This race really is a Democratic candidate’s dream. Mr. Faso was one of the original sponsors of House Bill 38 which would permit guns to be concealed and taken throughout the United States with no obligation to obey local prohibitions on such conduct. Also after in public having hugged a weeping woman fearful of losing health care and having promised her he would not diminish her access to affordable health care, Mr. Faso went to D.C. and voted to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately for him, his encounter with the distraught woman was caught on video. Further he has voted to release coal dust into streams and repeal a rule requiring energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The NY Times ran a story about our race up here and said that Mr. Faso has not only the advantage of incumbency and a huge war chest but that his Democratic incumbent cannot really run against him until after the June primary. Although the incumbency is true, Faso’s has been a fraught time in office; the war chest cannot be denied since thousands of dollars from the Mercer family of Breitbart, Bannon, and Cambridge Analytica fame can attest—a virtually endless swamp of lucre; but the need to first attack other Democrats and then Faso appears not to be the case.

Having openly avowed my support for Brian Flynn, I have yet to see one of these candidates cannibalize another. We Democrats seem finally to get it: the least of this group of seven Democratic candidates is light years ahead of what we dread: two more years of the No-Show Mercer Circus complete with complicity and cringing in front of last year’s bully— The Tea Party the dried up leaves of which are floating away with Paul Ryan.

Sincerely,

Anne McCabe

And Letters2Trump

Day 463 – Letter to American Citizens: A Third of All Air Strikes in Yemen Hit Non-Military Targets. Are You Really OK With Being Part of That?

Day 463 – Letter to American Citizens: A Third of All Air Strikes in Yemen Hit Non-Military Targets. Are You Really OK With Being Part of That?

Image from The Irish Times

Dear American Citizens,

For those of you who are married, do you remember your wedding day? Even if you are single, how do you envision your wedding day?  I’m sure the images are wonderful, special in all the right ways. Most importantly, I’m sure safety and security are not concerns. Unfortunately, not all people on this planet get to enjoy safety and security. This past weekend, a civilian couple in Yemen were celebrating their wedding day. This was supposed to be a great day, a celebration of love and family, yet, instead, U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes from above struck and killed 20 people at the wedding party, mostly killing women and children, including the bride! Additionally, this was NOT the only attack this weekend. There were a total of three air strike attacks besides this wedding party; the second attack killed off a family of five and another struck a bus and killed 20 civilians.

I’m sure if you are a halfway decent person you are thinking, “this is pretty tragic,” but what’s even more tragic is that we, the United States, have actively supported Saudi Arabia in their war and domination over Yemen. Our hands are not only soiled with the blood of the 15,000 killed through airstrikes since 2015, but due to our support of their blockade, we also play a hand in the death of 113,000 more in 2016-17, due to lack of food, water and medicines for perfectly preventable diseases, such as Cholera. The UN General Secretary, António Guterres called Yemen the “worst humanitarian crisis.”

Last month, Trump met with the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman at the White House where our president, with the use of some very low-tech posters, embarrassed himself once again by boasting about all the equipment we sell to Saudi Arabia, such as $2.8 billion airplanes, or $1.2 billion tanks, etc. We not only sell them this equipment but we also help the Saudis with targeting, logistics, updating of vehicles, including refueling their jets mid-air. Now, that is quite a partnership!

As citizens, we must actively and urgently demand that we break our love affair with Saudi Arabia. No matter how impossible this may seem at the time, once faced with the reality of the suffering and carnage our country is responsible for, we must collectively speak up. Tweet, write emails, snail mail letters, whatever you feel like doing, but please do something. Together we can create more ripples than alone.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

 

Day 462 – You Do Your Spring Cleaning Now, Mr. President. We’ll Do Ours In November.

Day 462 – You Do Your Spring Cleaning Now, Mr. President. We’ll Do Ours In November.

Image by Norman Rockwell from the Saturday Evening Post

Mr. President,

It finally feels like spring in the north. Michigan has had late snow in April, but it feels like we’re turning the corner. And this brings to mind spring cleaning. It is always refreshing to open the windows, let the clean air in, remove the clutter, the detritus, the dead wood. It’s freeing.

I encourage you to do some spring cleaning of your own. There are many opportunities for you to do so, right in your own Cabinet, right in the middle of Washington, DC.  Let me suggest a few places that you could start with your cleaning.

Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Having him as head of the EPA is like having a wolf in charge of the lambs. The EPA’s responsibility is to protect the environment and protect us from pollution. Yet, on Tuesday he proposed a rule on research studies – only those that are publicly available – in the name of “science transparency.” What about other research that may be subject to privacy laws, like the studies of people and disease? Do we discount all of the available research? A thousand scientists asked him not to change this rule. Does this matter? Scott Pruitt has raised many other red flags for his poor judgment from renting condos to equipping his office to travel expenses. He has a 24/7 protection detail – like another Cabinet officer I will bring up next – which costs us taxpayers dearly. We need to get rid of detritus. Let’s clean the Cabinet, oust this weight on our budget, and find someone who knows something about protecting the environment to take his place. Our children will thank you.

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. I have written on other occasions about the lack of knowledge of public education that this woman has. She freely admitted it in her interview a few weeks ago on 60 Minutes.  She said she had not visited failing schools in Michigan. Of course not. She wouldn’t know anything about what goes on in a public school in America. She was only an advocate for dismantling public education and providing vouchers for private/religious schools, and spent many dollars to get legislation passed in Michigan to finance private schools. She is inept. Like Scott Pruitt, she requires 24/7 security at a great cost to taxpayers. Let her go and find someone who knows about public education or is willing to learn for this important post. Our children will thank you.

Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. Like Pruitt and DeVos, Zinke is in charge of federal lands yet he doesn’t really protect them from his cronies in the oil and gas industries. Unless they happen to be in his home state of Montana. He was willing to carve up Grand-Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments in Utah, and serve them to the fossil fuel industry. Yet, in his own state he is willing to ask for protection of Badger-Two Medicine and a chalet in Glacier National Park. Doesn’t seem to be the guy we want protecting our federal lands (outside of Montana). He has some trouble with his travel expenses, too. Do your spring cleaning, and find someone who really does care about preserving our national monuments. Our children will thank you.

Gina Haspel, pegged to be the new CIA Director. She says she was merely “following orders” when she ordered the waterboarding and torture of prisoners at a secret detention facility in Thailand. Torture by any other name is torture. Destroying the evidence seems like just more corroboration of wrong doing. Give her the boot. There is enough torture in our world. Just listen to the news. We don’t need more. The world will thank you.

I could go on, but that is for another letter. This is only the beginning of the project. Spring cleaning can take a long time and a lot of effort. It’s hard work.

Don’t worry about Congress. The voters will take care of that in the fall. We’ll be doing our spring cleaning a little later this year.

Sincerely,

Letters2Trump

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