Dear Mr. President – September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

Dear Mr. President,I really need your advice today because it was hard to fall asleep last night. Several news articles from the weekend kept me up, worrying, fretting, asking questions. You always have the answers to my questions about the news. The answers are either the news is fake or full of lies or you are being horribly mistreated. Sometimes those answers work but sometimes they don’t. Anyhow, here are my questions and I really hope to hear back from you, so tonight’s sleep starts before 2:30 a.m.

The first question has to do with antisemitism and the rising numbers of hate crimes, videos and vicious statements. As a Jew, it is not possible to say, “it couldn’t happen here”. It’s just not possible. Yet, every day there are reports of graffiti, vandalism, fires and increased hate speech in this country! Some of these acts seem to be part of the overall atmosphere of anger and hate that you are using for political purposes. I know they work, and I know there are many Jews who see you as a “savior” of sorts. However, I think your speech and acts actually promote this kind of hate. According to the New York Times report by Katrin Bennhold, you have become a “cult figure in Germany’s increasingly varied far-right scene.” So, my question for you is are you doing this on purpose?

You have said that a Biden administration will cause this violence and hatred, but this is your administration and the violence and hate speech have dramatically increased over the past four years. Do you have a plan for reversing this trend?

The second thought that kept me up last night has to do with your remarks about the military leadership in this country. The Atlantic article was bad enough, but you have actually made it worse by disparaging (dissing) the leadership of the US military. You accused them of wanting to fight wars so “all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy”. You basically accused them of trying to make money instead of protecting and leading troops. That just doesn’t seem right. Don’t you remember that it is Congress that declares war? Didn’t you use Executive Orders to start military missions like killing Qasam Souleimaini? And, aren’t you the one bragging about how much money you got for the military for “those wonderful companies to make bombs and planes and everything else”? Did you know that the military leaders have to submit their tax returns every year and it is illegal for them to have stock in these “wonderful companies”? So, my question for you is, when will we see your taxes?

Dear Mr. President – September 4, 2020

September 4, 2020

Dear Mr. President,This will be a short note to let you know how much I’m thinking about you.It’s almost Shabbat and I still want to make some coleslaw to go with the New England Baked Haddock from a website named bowlofdelicious.com. It’s written by Elizabeth Lindemann. I think it is very important to give credit to the website. It’s a bit like real journalists having several sources on a story. Did you know that the standard for the media is at least two sources and often three or more before the piece is printed? If the piece were fiction, not fact, there wouldn’t be any sources. The piece in the Atlantic magazine has a number of sources and more people who have heard you say what you said are also coming out with their stories. You don’t often need or follow my advice, but I give it freely. If you are nervous about injuries or guilt ridden about not serving in Vietnam, or even scared of dying, it’s okay. Many people share those emotions. If you admitted to having those feelings, many others would empathize with you. The problem seems to be that your words dishonor the memories of the “our great military”. They do not appreciate that at all and all the talk about loving them won’t repair this situation. I know you went to Arlington to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at least once or twice. It would be a good spot to admit your guilt about dissing John McCain and other heroes who were wounded, captured or died in the service of our country.

You still seem to be struggling with the polls and it’s probably a huge source of worry and frustration. Don’t worry too much. There are many people on your side because they like how you talk about the economy. Others really think you care about them because you call them great, like the great farmers, the great police, the great coal miners, etc. Yes, some don’t believe you are really on their side and that it’s all talk. Even people who don’t like you still support all kinds of people because they think all humans deserve respect, honor and a fair shot at a decent life. None of us to need to call names, denigrate others or accuse people of not loving this country. Don’t be afraid to admit there are plenty of problems that need to be addressed and you know what they are. What happened to your vision for America that doesn’t look like Civil War? Can you conjure up a picture in your mind where people work together to solve problems, or to share ideas of different approaches to solving the problems, or even to smile at one another and wish each other well?Shabbat Shalom, have a peaceful weekend. Reflect on what I suggest. Play some golf.

Dear Mr. President – September 2, 2020

September 2, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
You have a lot of worries to obsess over and far be it for me to add to them, but there is a brand -new worry that you shared with Laura Ingraham a few nights ago. Apparently, The TSA, you know, the people who check our shoes, use some kind of magic wand on our bodies and occasionally find suspicious water bottles or spray deodorants, missed a large group of anarchists flying together to the Republican Convention!! How did that happen and how can we be sure that if we ever fly again, the TSA will actually look for suspicious people?
According to your statement that a “person” told you, “There were about six people dressed in dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear (!!!!) and this and that. And, then what happened is the entire plane filled up with the looters, the anarchists, rioters, people looking for trouble.” One of your minions in the White House suggested that what you are really asking about is investigating who is funding travel and lodging for organized rioters. If you reread your statement and the explanation of your spokesperson you might say “HUH? That doesn’t make any sense”. Seriously? Somehow, six or maybe a plane load of people, went through security all dressed in black uniforms (or dark) with gear (?) and “this and that” and boarded planes? If that were true, the biggest problem with this scenario is the TSA. They can skip scanning for shoe bombs and take a closer look at “this and that”. As far as who paid for the tickets, that seems rather a simple thing to check. The airline company can show you the credit card used to buy the tickets.
The next part of this worry is how to tell a looter from an anarchist from a rioter or from a person “looking for trouble”. Are you suggesting that one person could be all of these things? How can you tell them apart from people carrying military style weapons slung across their chests? Do they just wear camouflage or different colors, or red hats? What does a “person looking for trouble” look like? Is it their looks or behavior? Maybe they look “furtive” or “sneaky” or “wild-eyed”. This is very confusing, and no wonder some police have “choked”. Do you really think that a police officer killing someone is like a golfer who misses a close putt?
Anyhow, your behavior and words as President, do seem to matter. It was so kind of you to travel to Kenosha, WI to support the police. Did you have any advice for them on how to calm themselves in tense confrontations, so they don’t “choke”? I think that has two meanings, not to panic and react in a way that kills someone or not to put your knee on someone’s neck, so they die. Joe Biden has given a number of statements supporting peaceful protests but is very clearly (and strongly) saying that lawlessness is not protesting. I am suggesting that you say those same statements. You could fake caring about how important it is to listen to communities of color and people who have been so harmed by excessive police violence. You could promise to be a president of all the people, not just the ones who love you. Listen to how kindly Joe says these things and go ahead and use his words. You may be accused of plagiarizing but you could just say he stole the words from you.

Dear Mr. President – August 31, 2020

August 31, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
What can I say about the weekend? It’s been kind of a letdown after the big party you had on Thursday night. Remember that I wrote to you that I fell asleep and missed most of your speech and all of the fireworks even though the tv was still on? Thankfully, the whole shebang was covered by various news’ sources, so it was possible to hear a bit of the speech. I still think it was boring and too long, so I took a nap instead of reading the entire speech.
However, that was all last week and I’ve been thinking about what lies ahead for you and the country. This is a big week for so many of us. First, we celebrated M’s birthday (oldest grandson) last Friday and tonight we celebrate our Dad’s 96 birthday! The plan is for our family to meet in a park, see him in person for the first time in more than 5 months and have dinner, dessert and sing Happy Birthday. The added bonus is this is the park where he had his garden since he moved to Ann Arbor. We are caring for it and he will be able to see one of the beds. There are lots of plants doing great right now. He and the great grandchildren can pick eggplants, peppers, kale, and beans and enjoy the bounty of goodness and love all around us.
Usually this week or next is the time the kids return to school. One of our grandchildren started today in person. Another has a new desk set up in the living room and an Ipad given out by the school system to “go to school”. The others are doing a variety of on- line learning but they miss seeing all their classmates. I read that you want to learn firsthand about what’s happening in Kenosha, Wisconsin but the governor and the mayor don’t want in person learning just yet. Maybe you should follow their rules and have a Zoom lesson instead. There may even be some reading assignments before the lesson or some homework assignments after you learn the history of this area of the country. At this point in time you probably have a long reading list to prepare for the start of the fall semester. You have a full load of classes including Constitutional Law for One L (1st year law students), Sociology 401, the Effects of Racial Injustice on Communities of Color, and Poly Sci. 101, Elections in the United States, an introduction.
In addition to your classes, you need to start preparing for the debates. No one knows how these are going to work yet but here’s what I would like to see. Joe Biden, sitting at home or in his basement and you, sitting in your living room or in your bunker. There would be one or two moderators like Dana Bash and Jonathan Swan. They would ask each of you to explain specific policy plans or ideas on 5-7 topics/problems. You would take turns as to who goes first, and you would each speak for 5-10 minutes on that policy plan. Here are my ideas for this discussion: 1) Your plans for preparing for Pandemics of the Future and the continued outbreak of the Donald Trump Virus
2) How to Safely Restart the Economy by Helping Small Businesses
3)How to Restore Liberty and Justice for All
4) How to Prepare for the Negative Effects of Climate Change
5)How to Lead the World as a Democratic Nation.
The rules include NO TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU DID IN THE PAST.
I hope you have time to study for the finals.

Dear Mr. President – August 28, 2020

 

August 28, 2020

Dear Mr. President,
Today I am writing to you because it’s what I have been doing when my emotional state ramps up to not good levels. Sometimes I’m overly happy and giddy and sometimes I’m too sad and worried. Today, it’s the latter. Maybe the problem is it’s been raining hard and there have been thunderstorms all day. Maybe it’s because the end of summer is here. No, I don’t think so, I think it’s that the RNC convention is over. I think that’s really the source of my sour mood. I looked forward to hearing from great speakers and hearing more about goals for the future and ideas on how to unite our people on even one issue. I didn’t hear any of that. Most of the speakers, including all the ones named Trump, are terrible speakers, even the one who is just a girlfriend. Ivanka actually wasn’t terrible at speaking and at least she smiled, but she’s not believable. Melania was the most believable, but she needs to learn to smile. There were two “regular people” who had personal messages of being helped by the President and they were very good, but almost everyone else was meh or bleh. In short, the 4 nights were boring and your speech, much as I would have like to hear it, was soporific. I fell asleep within 10 minutes of the start.
As far as goals went, there weren’t any specific ones. I’ve always said that if you can specifically identify a problem, you can come up with some specific actions to solve it. But, the RNC didn’t even come up with a platform or any ideas! There are some very specific problems in this country, but I didn’t hear any plans about how to deal with them. Are you asking me what problems concern me? Well, the number one problem currently is the Donald Trump Virus that continues to spread across our population and infects and kills more and more people every day. Yes, I know you closed the borders to China at the end of February, and for that you get partial credit. You know that wasn’t enough and plenty of people (like 40,000) still entered this country. You know that virus that hit New York actually came in from Europe. Yes, your administration allowed the Task Force to gather materials and make recommendations for slowing the spread, but you didn’t follow those recommendations. Yes, your administration sent equipment to the states and they did thank you over and over again, but it’s now 6 months later and much more equipment is needed. Yes, many companies are working on therapeutics and vaccines, but you know that is not going to help us in the next few months.
There are three other serious problems that keep me awake at night. The first is the hatred and fear spread by some of your supporters. I do not think we have to worry about B”H” (Biden and Harris) being enemies of the state trying to destroy all our national traditions and our constitution. It’s ironic that they, and many others, say it’s you who have tried to destroy our institutions and ignored our constitution. I don’t think that couple from St. Louis helped slow the spread of hatred and fear. Did you know they smashed beehives on the property of the synagogue behind their house? Apparently, the children of that congregation had built the beehives with the hope of collecting the honey for use at Rosh Hashanna. Maybe your speaker bureau should have vetted them better. The second huge problem bothering me is the terrible division in our country with the idea that social and racial injustice only means violent protests. You know that’s not right and yet even Kelly Ann said you like the idea of “riots” because it helps you in your campaign to be the “law and order” guy. Plus, the idea of justice, which we have discussed many times, is serious, huge and you aren’t addressing it. It was nice of you to pardon a few people but that only underscores the larger problem. The third HUGE problem is climate change and the disastrous effects it has on the entire planet. It would be smart of you to read up on this problem and listen to scientists, but you still seem to deny that they know what they are talking about and you continue to call it a hoax.
There is one other small problem that could be easily solved. You are promoting Law and Order and that’s okay, because destruction of property is not okay, like smashing beehives that don’t belong to you. But, what about the breaking of laws like cheating on taxes, ignoring the Hatch Act and civilians using their weapons to patrol the streets and kill people? Are you suggesting that your administration would better enforce those laws too?
Thanks for reading this letter. I feel better just getting some of these worries off my chest, and the sun just came out.

Dear Mr President – August 26, 2020

 

August 26, 2020

Dear Mr. President,
After watching most of last night’s festivities, I have some more great ideas for you and your campaign. The first is leave your kiddos out of the limelight. They are terrible speakers. The boys sound exactly alike so the speech from the second kid sounded exactly like the speech from the first kid and neither one was good. They punched the air with one hand in an effort to look tough, but I wasn’t convinced that they are. Also, I think I saw spittle flying so it was good that there weren’t any people in front of them. Maybe they are trying to show you that they are chips off the old block. Your daughter was okay and congratulations on her graduation from law school. Her efforts to relate to other students having difficulty finding jobs if they graduated fell a bit flat. She acknowledged her privileges without mentioning the student debt that most graduates have. Still, at least she smiles. The boys just look creepy.
Here’s another idea based on what was shown last night. You pardoned a very impressive guy for his past crimes, even though he had been pardoned by his state, on display for the entire country. You oversaw the swearing in of some new citizens in the White House, even people from places you have called “S-Hole countries”. You welcomed home several people who were imprisoned in other countries and they thanked you personally. So, how about if you tour the country and do a nice thing for more individuals. You could randomly visit a city and pay the rent for an entire apartment building and then film each family personally thanking you. You could go to a high school and teach a class on government, then take pictures with students and their tests with big A’s written in a black Sharpie. Black Sharpies matter! Your campaign could show these events to celebrate your care and empathy for all Americans, or at least those who will show their appreciation with their vote.
The evening ended with Melania’s speech in the Rose Garden in front of a nice sized audience who were slightly socially distanced. Some even wore masks, thus showing how seriously they take your efforts to control the DT virus. Melania reminded us that immigrants come to this country to make better lives for themselves, not necessarily to start gangs. She explained how her Be Best efforts are spreading all over the world and how kind and loving she is. Really, her speech was fine. It reminded me of our 8th grade English class where we gave what were called Demonstration Speeches, showing our classmates how to do something. It’s where I learned to iron a shirt, thanks to my friend, Dale. What makes a successful speech is slow, careful language, eye contact with your audience, and a clear explanation of your message. Melania’s message is Be Best, take care of your child, however old he or she is, and watch out for social media negativity.
I hope these ideas are useful for you. By the way, does the Rose Garden still have roses in it?

 

 

Dear Mr. President – August 25, 2020

August 25, 2020

Dear Mr. President,

And away we go…..the Republican Party National Convention! You are so excited that you showed up in North Carolina to speak directly to the 300 and some delegates who were there. I understand that they all had their temperature taken and a quick test of some sort before they entered the room. It looks like they were asked to keep socially distant, at least until you spoke. Then they all crowded around the stage to breathe in your incredible words. An hour later you finished and danced off the stage. I learned a couple of important things from that performance. One, the Democrats are dumping tens of thousands of ballots at polling stations so people can just grab them and fill them out? Huh? At our polling places we get the ballot only after signing in, taking the sign in paper to a volunteer poll worker who checks the address and signature and looks at our ID, then we take the ballot to a private area to fill out with the special markers that are there, then we keep the ballot in its privacy shield and feed it into a machine that swallows the ballot. Even if there were (subjunctive, contrary to fact) a pile of ballots outside the polling stations, they could not be filled out and brought inside and they couldn’t be mailed on voting day. Well, maybe they could, if people could find a mailbox. The second thing I learned, oh right, I learned you can dance.

I tried to watch as much of the convention as possible but for the first hour I was on Zoom (isn’t Zoom an incredible way to see people during the quarantine?) discussing the book, How to Be an Anti-Racist. I guess if you are reelected, we don’t need to read and discuss it because you and yours are the least racist people ever and we will live in a wonderfully peaceful society. But then the couple from St. Louis came on. When they said, “No matter where you live your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America”, I thought Holy Moly! They think you will support militarily armed police, walled in suburban enclaves, and every household with multiple weapons to keep us safe!!!! They seem to be afraid of a lot of people.

Some of the speakers were quite good but I do have some questions for you. Nikki Haley is a calm, clear and convincing speaker but she seemed to contradict your interest in reviving Confederate flags and statues. Have you two discussed this issue? I don’t think she accurately describes what the Democratic party stands for, but she is a good speaker. Are you worried she might be a better future candidate for President than Don Jr.? Another speaker whom I thought was very effective, was the man from Florida, not Matt Gaetz, he’s ridiculous. I’m talking about the man who came from Cuba. I thought he made a great case for immigrants who escaped from dangerous and repressive countries to come to the United States to work and make lives for themselves and their families. That sounded like the story of all Americans, except for Native Americans. The question I have for you is how does his story square with your “policies” on immigration?

All in all, it was a great success. You were praised as the savior of Western civilization! Wow! So why is my stomach in knots and my heart racing?

Dear Mr. President – August 23, 2020

 

August 23, 2020

Dear Mr. President,
It’s Sunday morning and you must be super busy getting ready for your big party this week. I checked the weather forecast and it looks like rain on Monday and hot and humid the rest of the days, so be prepared, maybe order a tent. You don’t want your hair or Melania’s to get messed up. I plan on watching some of the fun this week, but I will need to tell my friends about what is said because many of them are busy and won’t be able to watch. Don’t worry, I will report accurately.
The list of speakers will be very important, and the list should be all set by now. I guess Steve Bannon has been scratched, or Paul Manafort or Gen. Flynn,
but I think Vlad Putin is still available. The topics will probably include how great you have done on the economy, before it tanked, immigration, but ignoring the children in cages, The Wall, with about 450 miles of old barriers replaced (like it has been in every administration) and a couple of miles of new barrier where none had been. By the way, how much has been spent on this building project? Let’s see, what else can they talk about? Infrastructure, oops, not yet, health care in the time of the Trump Virus, oops, no new plans yet, or how transparent and ethical your administration has been? Hmm, maybe not a good idea to talk about that. The speakers could mention the over 400 executive actions you have taken. They could stress the removal of regulations on environmental issues that got in the way of Big Business. Of course, they probably shouldn’t mention that many car companies are still going to work with the stricter emission standards set by the Obama administration. They should probably not mention that opening drilling in the Arctic hasn’t excited big investors or even some of the oil companies to invest in that idea. They are busy working on some other alternatives. How about the idea that tax cuts for the extremely rich would fuel the economy? No, that hasn’t really worked out. They should probably not discuss the inability of the Republican party to pass legislation funding states to pay for continued unemployment benefits (due to the Trump Virus), payments to hospitals, and schools to cover the extra expenses caused by the Trump Virus or more money needed by small businesses (like, really small businesses) to stay open or reopen. Tell them to avoid talking about the disaster at the United States Postal Service, or they could just blame Mr. Nojoy. It’s not your fault.
This week in the Jewish calendar, we read the portion called Shoftim or Judges (not the book of Judges but the chapter including how the legal system would work in ancient Israel). The very famous line, “Justice, justice you shall pursue” is found here. Rabbi Caine, from our congregation, discussed the tradition of why the word “justice” is doubled. One explanation is that the first time it’s written is for the king or ruler, to remind him/her to keep the laws found in the Torah and read them every day in order to keep the law. It goes further to explain that justice includes having a ruler pay attention to the people and not him/herself. The second time “justice” is used is for everyone else. It’s a reminder that the entire system depends on justice being for everyone. Isn’t that interesting?
I was thinking that maybe, in your acceptance speech where you lay out your plans for helping our nation move forward for all of us, you could promise to keep a copy of the Constitution by your bedside and read a section every night. Every morning you could recite the Pledge of Allegiance and emphasize the line “with Liberty and Justice for all”. Maybe not Steve Bannon (and the others who betrayed our country and our laws.) What do you think?

Dear Mr. President – August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
It’s another beautiful day in Michigan but it sounds like some parts of our country are suffering from natural disasters of rain, wind, fire, drought, and climate change. Have you made any visits or speeches to cheer up the farmers in Iowa or everyone in California or are you just focusing on big Democratic cities? Some of them are suffering from human disasters, not poor management caused by being led by Democrats, but issues stemming from poverty, pollution and social injustice. Is your policy plan for a second term going to be “let them rot”? I would like to suggest, with all due respect, that if you are elected to a second term, you focus on being a president for the entire country, not just for people who like you. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that the Oath of Office is meant to be that the duty of a president is to work for and defend everyone. Please let me know if that is wrong.
Speaking of people who like you, let’s talk about QAnon, since you brought them up. Maybe you could explain a bit more about who they are and what they believe in. Is the doctor who believes in demon sperm part of that group? You didn’t seem too sure of what they are all about other than they like you. Somehow, this doesn’t seem possible as the craziness they are alleging has been all over the tv, social media and newspapers. Please don’t spout off on things you don’t know much about, (remember how poorly it went when you tried to give advice about cleansing the inside of your body with bleach?), even though I think you know very well about them. Yesterday was the third or fourth time you were asked about the group or some of the folks who won primaries who may be members of this gang. I expect you to pay better attention to hot news articles that belong on the front page of The National Inquirer, along with pictures of the aliens coming to impregnate women in their dreams.
So much for people who like you, so now let’s discuss people who don’t. From what I heard at the Democratic Convention over the last three nights, there are a lot of them and they’re not only Democrats! To be fair, it’s not you they don’t like; it’s what you say and do that they reject. On the list were how you treat our adversaries, our allies, and many Americans. Apparently, you are not winning them over when you brag about how you have handled the virus, the reopening of the economy, the trade agreements, the environment, or even, “draining the swamp”. You know, after reading about the arrest of Steve Bannon and a few of his buddies, and thinking about all the folks you thought were “best” but who were convicted of crimes or went to jail, or who stand to make money from their businesses while they serve in various offices relevant to their businesses, or who have lied, cheated or are terrible at their jobs,( whew, that’s a long list and there is more!), it doesn’t look like the swamp is drained. In fact, it’s starting to smell pretty rotten.
Only one more night of the Dems’ convention and then your team gets to go on stage. I’m looking forward to hearing about the platform and how you plan to bring the country together. Or, are you planning to keep dissing the Democrats plans to improve the lives of all our people without offering good alternatives? Are all the singing acts lined up yet? I hope you’re not hurt that the only former Republican president alive won’t give a speech at your convention. Gee, who will you get to speak, Roger Stone? How about Mitch McConnell? I’d bet Hannity would do it. It’s okay, you have Melania speaking and she will be, well, she will be in the Rose Garden. There’s a few more days to tinker with the lineup so I’m sure you can get some more great orators and/or entertainers. Just remember to think about inspiring the nation with your natural charm and wit.

Dear Mr. President – August 18, 2020

August 18, 2020
Dear Mr. President,
Last night I was impressed, not by your mini campaign rallies but by the Democratic National Party Convention. It was sincere, smooth, emotional and reminded me to Be Best. The videos and vignettes were short enough to keep my attention and the two hours flew by. The speeches were good, to the point, and it was interesting to hear from life -long Republicans. As far as Michelle’s speech, well, you know already. I think you tried to tweet something back but, seriously, she’s out of your league.
You know I try and give you honest advice so here it goes. What are your goals for a second term? Since you have already cut regulations on laws affecting the air, the earth, and everything in between, you can check that off your list of things to do. The wall is built, I guess, and all the bad women and children aren’t trying to sneak across our southern border to grab Americans’ jobs. You’ve made all the great trade deals we need with our former friends and some of our new enemies. What else? Oh, the economy; you have personally brought back the Stock Market, even though Trump hating economists always remind us that the stock market is not the economy. You have stood up for your people and they love you because they like having a president who, well, they love you for who you are.
What am I forgetting? I guess the only problem you haven’t solved is the Donald Trump virus. Apparently, people aren’t convinced that you have saved millions of lives. In fact, one person accused you of killing her father!!! It was harsh but there are other people who feel the same way. So, instead of bragging about something you did 6 months ago, you need to have a new plan for the future. It’s not working to say that a vaccine, therapeutics or magic disappearances are coming “very soon”. No one seems to be buying that.
I think other tactics you could try, even if it’s not really you, are trying to unite the country and showing an understanding that points of view other than yours, could lead to civil discussions about policy pros and cons. Never mind, they wouldn’t work because it’s too complicated. I guess you should just stay with who you are. After all, it is what it is.
Thanks Ron, for posting the video down below