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: 

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.
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. [ ... ]

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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