Politics

Dear President Obama: Congratulations! I’m sure this is a moment you want to savor, a time to take a deep breath, get some rest, hydrate, regain your balance, and take a long walk in the sunshine. It might be as well a good time to reflect, rethink, recharge, and perhaps reignite. I sincerely hope that it is, and I urge you to put education on your reflective agenda. The landscape of “educational reform” is currently littered with rubble and ruin and wreckage on all sides. Sadly, your administration has contributed significantly to the mounting catastrophe. You’re not alone: The toxic materials have been assembled as a bipartisan endeavor over many years, and the efforts of the last several administrations are now organized into a coherent push mobilized and led by a merry band...
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Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to you today to ask for your help. It’s been just over a year since some of us first wrote to you to ask you to offer resettlement places to refugees fleeing Syria. We were delighted when you responded and the Government’s Vulnerable Person’s Relocation (VPR) scheme was established. You promised to resettle some of the most vulnerable people fleeing conflict in the region, a promise the UK is well placed to deliver, given our decade-long programme of resettling 750 people in similar situations from around the world every year under our fantastic Gateway Protection Programme. Given your promise and the UK’s proud tradition of offering protection to those who desperately need it, we couldn’t have been more disappointed when we discovered the scale...
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To the people of St.Catharines, Being frugal is a way of life. I myself have cancelled my cable subscription over a year ago in order to save money. This was an easy choice as most of the shows on television were on when I could not watch and the On Demand feature hardly ever worked. It took the other members of the household a few weeks to notice the cable was disconnected, goes to show you how important this service was. At $75 per month, the service was not worth it, so we went with Netflix at $7 per month. Balancing a city budget is a bit more complicated. You must be able to prioritize services the city needs and wants for it’s residents. Everything costs money and money does not grow on trees, that much is certain. St.Catharines finds itself in an interesting situation. An...
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Dear Sirs, We write as leaders of AJC, the global Jewish organization long engaged in advocacy on behalf of Israel's well-being and the enduring partnership between the Jewish state and world Jewry. We are deeply concerned by the Chief Rabbinate’s explanation that Rabbi Avi Weiss’s affirmations concerning the Jewishness and marriageability of a couple he has known well has been challenged by the Chief Rabbinate because his status as an Orthodox rabbi is now in question. We are concerned about this action for three distinct reasons: Rabbi Weiss is a long-standing Orthodox rabbi who has built over many years a strong and vital congregation while indefatigably toiling on behalf of the Jewish people. At a time when Jewish leaders are understandably concerned about the extent of...
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Dear President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma The media is reporting that you may appoint Jon Qwelane as South Africa’s ambassador to Uganda. I trust these reports are wrong and that the rumours about the imminent appointment of Qwelane were started by your enemies. Surely such damaging rumours have been spread by those who wish to re-enforce racist and Afro-pessimistic stereotypes about our leaders. Such rumours will obviously tarnish your name and will re-enforce widely held perceptions about your alleged lack of commitment to our Constitution and the values enshrined in it. In terms of section 84(2)(i) of the South African Constitution you are empowered to make ambassadorial appointments. In exercising this power, you have a wide discretion to appoint fit and proper individuals of any...
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Dear Dr. Schleicher: We write to you in your capacity as OECD’s director of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA). Now in its 13th year, PISA is known around the world as an instrument to rank OECD and non-OECD countries (60+ at last count) according to a measure of academic achievement of 15 year old students in mathematics, science, and reading. Administered every three years, PISA results are anxiously awaited by governments, education ministers, and the editorial boards of newspapers, and are cited authoritatively in countless policy reports. They have begun to deeply influence educational practices in many countries. As a result of PISA, countries are overhauling their education systems in the hopes of improving their rankings. Lack of progress on PISA has led to...
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Dear President Obama, I know you will probably never read this letter. But, as a good Mexican, I’ve been taught to expect disappointment in advance, so there is no harm in trying. My name is José Ángel N., and I am an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. I have lived in Chicago most of my life, and the night you were elected U.S. President I watched with my face pressed against a chain-link fence as you delivered an impassioned speech at Grant Park. I come from Guadalajara, a city that you visited during your first official trip to Mexico as President. What did you think of my city, by the way? I have not been home in two long decades, so your memory of it is more current than mine. Like most people, I came to the United States because I heard that people here had a chance to...
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Dear Saj, Thank you for your message congratulating me on my election to the European Parliament and asking for my vote in your bid to become President of the European Parliament. You say that Europe and EU institutions need to 'show unity', 'demonstrate a clear vision' and that we 'cannot rely on old approaches that have turned away citizens from the European project'. Interestingly, you also want us to 'seek a lasting re-engagement with the people whom we represent'. Last but not least, you also seem to urge a general distancing from 'party machines'. You have been elected an MEP once more as a candidate of the British Conservative Party, of which you have been (again) a member since 2007. The Conservative Party has unfortunately, in its recent years in government, chosen to,...
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Dear Elected Officials, Public Servants and Political Consultants, RespectAbilityUSA.org knows that you want to be in touch with voters and meet their needs so that America can be a better place. Thus, we want to help you serve your constituents better. We recently completed a large-sample national poll of 3800 people within the disability community, and the results offer a unique insight into a community of 56 million Americans. We know that this information can help you who understand what matters to millions of Americans with disabilities and their loved ones. Important for you: (click here for the full report) Fully 95% of the disability community polled was more likely to vote for a candidate if they have a strong record on improving opportunities for people with...
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Dear Susan Booysen, I write this letter a disappointed man, but also hope it is a true representation of the feelings of the many starving Zimbabweans currently back home, and of course, those in the diaspora. This is because of your involvement with the Mass Public Opinion Institute that carried out what I believe is a mockery of a real and reliable survey. I’ve always followed through many of your political analyses which have sometimes proven not only to be objective but prophetic. I’ve also held you in high esteem given that you come from the Witwatersrand University, which I shall continue to respect regardless of your recent negative attitude towards Zimbabwe’s opposition politics. Given that President Jacob Zuma is currently mediating in the Zimbabwean crisis, your...
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