Politics

Dear Real-Life Russian Spies That Recently Got Busted: Seriously, guys (and hot red-headed chick)? Really? This is how you represent your craft? The long and time-honored tradition of international espionage? Well, I'll be the first to say it. It is utterly unacceptable. First of all, you got caught. You're SPIES, man! Although I've never actually seen a spy handbook, I'm pretty sure the No. 1 rule is don't get caught. And I'm assuming the No. 2 rule is that if you do get caught, you're supposed to swallow a cyanide pill to protect your secrets. But NO! Not you guys. You got busted, and now all your mugs and information are all over the news. Not to mention, you spent time sitting in jail cells like a bunch of schlubs. I mean, come on, guys (and hot, red-headed chick). You...
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Dear Mr. President, We know you've done us a lot of favors lately, after getting off to a slow start. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the call for the Boy Scouts to admit gay troops, all those gay ambassadors you've named. Once you finally evolved on marriage equality, you became an eloquent supporter and have been made it clear that the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages now that DOMA is gone. But here's the thing about evolution: it doesn't end. (Although in the case of the GOP, the trend may be in the opposite direction. But that's another story.) And that's why it's time to take on your toughest challenge yet: letting Russia — and in particular your counterpart, Vladimir Putin — know that the U.S. won't tolerate its attacks on the LGBT community, Russia is...
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Dear Members of Parliament, Bill on the surveillance of electronic and telephone communications Reporters Without Borders, an organization that defends freedom of information, wishes to inform you of its profound concern at the Communications Capabilities Development Programme, a government bill aimed at extending the surveillance of the electronic and telephone communications of British citizens. In the Queen's Speech on May 9, Her Majesty confirmed the intention of Prime Minister David Cameron's government to introduce this bill, which in our view is disproportionate, dangerous and counter-productive. We understand the government's desire to improve the effectiveness of its fight against terrorism and organised crime and to adapt its methods to the latest developments in...
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Dear Louis XIV: I’ve been doing some reading up on you recently, about how you revoked the Edict of Nantes, persecuted the Huguenots, and exempted nobility from taxes, just to cover a few of the highlights. In addition to the many other kingly acts I read about, I stumbled across the bit about your wonderful patronage of the arts and how it earned you the title of “Le Grand Monarque.” Well to be frank, this title struck me as a bit of a misnomer and is why I am writing you today. I am certainly no expert in monarchies and what would constitute a grand one, but in my not-so-humble opinion I find this title to be less than accurate and in fact I would go so far as to call it a heinous lie. Furthermore, if I’m being honest, anyone who was responsible for bestowing it upon you (and I’m...
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Dear Vice President Cheney, Let me express my condolences for the loss of your chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby. With all true Americans, I recognize the valuable service Mr. Libby performed for you and the country, particularly the oil companies, over the past five years, and the key role he played in helping to create the democratic paradise of today’s Iraq. Certainly history will smile upon his contributions and gloss over the baseless charges brought against him by political partisans. (Perjury? Come on! It’s not like the guy got a blowjob …) In the meantime, obviously, you will be in need of a new chief of staff, so let me get right to the point: I’m your man. My qualifications are as follows: 1. I am pure evil. I can provide letters of reference from former...
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Dear New Yorkers, I have a potentially treasonous confession to make: I have never had a personal connection to 9/11. Never felt anything about it, and for a long time didn’t really care. I’m not trying to be irreverent, just frank, but I understand how those two adjectives aren’t mutually exclusive. I feel terrible that I have never really felt terrible about 9/11, and it makes me curious about how common my dilemma is. Those who were young and in high school at the time, I assume, must have felt a sort of detachment from the events. Most had no clue what had actually happened or why, and don’t for a second entertain the thought that our schools properly educated us about the complexities of the issue. Most of us just did what we were told, which was to don numerous flags of...
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Dear Secretary Kerry, I am writing to you veteran-to-veteran, man-to-man. However, I have decided to write to you publicly. The issue that I am writing about is too important, too many lives depend on it, and I cannot take the chance that this letter and the linked petition will only reach the eyes of one of your aides. Like you, I felt betrayed that my country sent me to fight an unjust war, though my war was several decades after yours, and in Iraq. I have spoken out against that war to the best of my ability, as you once did against your war before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In recent years you have found yourself on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but your attitudes towards war have changed drastically. You supported the war in Iraq, the war that I was...
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Ambassador Richard H. Jones 71 Hayarkon Street Tel Aviv 63903 4 November 2006 Your Excellency: As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, Al-Haq is extremely alarmed by the current intensification of Israeli military operations in Gaza. This operation, codenamed “Autumn Clouds”, which is exerting a heavy toll on the civilian population of Gaza, is disturbingly reminiscent of operation “Defensive Shield” of 2002. Further, the ongoing military assault is effectively contributing to the destabilisation of the entire region. We hereby call upon you and the international community as a whole to take immediate and concrete steps to halt the indiscriminate attacks being carried out in Gaza. Over the last four days, Israel has stepped up...
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Dear Mr. President, We, the African civil society leaders of Publish What You Pay - a global coalition campaigning for an open and accountable gas, oil and mining sector - are addressing you on the eve of the US - Africa Leaders’ Summit. We are addressing you as concerned citizens, forced to see their countries cheated out of revenues as illicit financial flows drain Africa of its resources. Because of trade mispricing, opacity and secrecy jurisdictions our continent has lost out on more than $1 trillion over the last 30 years. Africa is generating revenues, but many of these flow to the pockets of rich corporations and individuals rather than back to citizens. It shouldn’t be this way. We are addressing you as worried parents, who fear that by the time our grandchildren grow up...
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Dear Michael Gove, You will never read this, but I feel compelled to put it out there in the faint hope that more people will realise the repercussions of your latest initiative. I am proud to work at a small school, on a small estate, in the most deprived ward in the county. The life expectancy in this ward is a full 20 years lower than the neighbouring village, which tells you a little bit about our intake. Add to this that within our 530 students, we have 36 different languages spoken and over 40 per cent of students do not count English as their first language. Effectively, we are everything you hate and everything you would like to abolish. We are the skidmark on the sparkling underpants of your brave new world of academies and free schools. It is no secret that you would...
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