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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mood Enhancer: Send Mail


^ The White House Mail Room, January 25, 1939, Americans send dimes to fight infantile paralysis --from the Library of Congress

I. DIY Adult-ed American government

I loved this article (found on Orange Crate Art) about the flood of mail and calls to Congress: newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves 

From the article; this could be me--
“It’s good for my mood,” Dreyer said about her call-a-day [to Congress] habit. “When I’m not actively standing up and doing something, I get dragged down and start to feel hopeless.” Moreover, for many people, including some who slept through high-school civics, the past several weeks have been a kind of adult-education seminar in American government.
II. "You are already a good man..."
I don't expect Trump to care about mail (ha!), but I do like to think of the young interns & staffers who open it.
I recommend this fascinating and moving article,  about the young staff & interns who read the letters to Obama includes some of the letters themselves.
nytimes.com/2017/01/17/magazine/what-americans-wrote-to-obama.html
Dear Mr. President,
It’s late in the evening here in Oahu, and the sun will soon be sinking behind the horizon onto the ocean.
[ ... ] Sir, I was injured in Afghanistan in 2011. [ ... ] I wasn’t afraid in Afghanistan, but I am horrified at the thought of my future. I want to serve my country, make a difference and live up to the potential my family sees in me. I am scared, I think, because I have no plan on what employment to pursue.
It is something that is extremely difficult to me; and with my family leaving the island soon I am truly lost. Sir, all my life I’ve tried to find what a Good man is, and be that man, but I realize now life is more difficult for some. I’m not sure where I am going, and it is something that I cannot shake. [ ... ]

Sincerely,
Patrick Holbrook
Oahu, Hawaii
Obama wrote back:

I was surprised so many people still send actual paper mail. I was not surprised that Obama read ten letters a day himself. 
I'd be surprised if Trump read more than zero. 
Or if he even reads anything from the National Security Council either:
"While Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps.
“The president likes maps,” one official said.
^Via NYT article. Not that I'd feel better if this guy did read papers. It's a little scary to read about our national security ---is anybody home? 

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