Politics

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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Dear Mr. President, We modern Whigs extend our congratulations to you Mr. President on your electoral victory. The Nation has spoken, keeping you, our President, in the White House, yet at the same time still electing the some of the "opposition" party to other offices. Our citizens are exhibiting a proper sense of balance as well as bold social progression that their representatives ought take note of. Mr. President, it is the sincere hope of the Modern Whigs that you govern through your second term in a spirit of collaboration and compromise and with a deep sense of historical dialectics. As political discourse in our Great Nation has become increasingly vitriolic, with emotions and blind ideology masking truth, we Whigs realize how difficult true leadership can be our current...
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Dear Mr. President, I am fully aware that these are days in which the federal government is — for all practical purposes — unlimited in its power. As it stands, you — sir — can detain any American citizen without due process simply because you suspect him of being a terrorist, you have magically managed to become the Chairman of the UN Security Council without the approval of Congress — despite that awkward Article 1.9 of the Constitution — and you — along with the FCC — seem to think the Internet is thine to regulate. Now I’m sure this sudden growth in power was seen as necessary, proper and really-cool by all of your staff, and thus I join in with their applause (but with those annoying, ironically-spaced claps that continue long after everyone else has finished.) For there are those...
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Your Majesty, You may think it impertinent of me, an Australian historian, to presume to address the Emperor of Japan. No doubt, many of your countrymen will think so and urge you to ignore this unsolicited letter. But I write to you in an effort to find some connection between our countries beyond trade, tourism and the memory of the most terrible conflict our world has known. We are still recovering from that experience. Of the 50 million people who died in the Second World War, more than half were Asian people and Allied servicemen and women, the victims of Japanese aggression. I write not in anger or bitterness, but rather in the spirit of respect and friendship. I do not share in the slightest degree the racial intolerance of some of my countrymen and women, whose hatred of...
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Dear Prime Minister, A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like. This time it is the New York Times Co. that is a victim of this double punishment because of a compliant judicial system that always rules in favour of you and your family in all the lawsuits you bring against foreign news media. Before the New York Times Co., you succeeded in punishing the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), FinanceAsia.com, The Economist, International Herald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal for their coverage of the political and economic situation in your country. Threatened by a trial, the New York Times Co. apologised to you and your father, Lee Kuan Yew, for the...
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Dear Madam Chancellor, I have had the privilege of meeting with you several times in my various positions serving the government of the State of Israel. I have always been impressed with your leadership and commitment to Israel's security and well-being in our region, with its risks and uncertainties. A special relationship exists between our two countries, and Germany has been a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people, proven many times over. Under your direction, Germany has become the leading country in the European Union economically and financially. You have overcome historical sensitivities to become leaders politically and militarily as well. There is no doubt that today Germany is the most influential country in the EU and a major player in the global arena. I am...
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