Wednesday, April 25, 2018

POLLUTION


April 25, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Okay, but…

I read your tweet yesterday about working to “mitigate the increase of jet engine noise over our neighborhoods” and thought to myself, “Okay, but…”

The “okay” is that it’s certainly a good thing to reduce noise pollution—over our neighborhoods and elsewhere. It’s a good thing to reduce every kind of pollution that impinges on our quality of life, whether air, or noise, or light, or indeed any other form. Life in contemporary America is hard enough. We have too many sources of stress, which result in all kinds of uncivil behavior. The human species survived, evolved, even—if you happen to believe in evolution, as I do and apparently a large number of Americans do not—on a planet that did not have these particular health hazards, so our bodies and minds are ill-prepared to accommodate to them.

So there is a “but.” There is, in my view, more than a taste of “not in my back yard” provincialism to your pronouncement that I find questionable. All very well to cater to the mild discomfort of our generally wealthy and materially comfortable communities; but this should not be accompanied by neglect of the huge problems of pollution that affect the entire planet. While you, in comfortable Orange County, complain about the noise of the jet planes that carry us in relative luxury and with amazing speed on our trips throughout the planet, there are literally millions of human beings who are forced to suffer the consequences of our national embrace of fossil fuels and our failure to accept responsibility for our contribution to world-wide pollution.

While you complain about the noise of take-off and landing, you do nothing about the pollution that is distributed liberally in the earth’s atmosphere in between.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

NIMBY

April 17, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: NIMBY

I just came across your appalling statement from 23 March titled “Homeless Shelter Nonsense.” You write as “a parent who owns a modest home in an Orange County neighborhood,” protesting against “County homeless compounds setting up shop in our local communities” and calling this humanitarian action “a travesty.”

First, on purely moral grounds, whatever happened to Christian charity—or, for myself, Buddhist compassion? You call it “an outrage” to be “assuming responsibility for homeless people and taking care of their basic needs”—this, in one of the wealthiest communities in the entire country? The outrage, Congressman, is your outrage.

Next, is it not your job to represent all the people of your district, not merely the Republican or the rich ones? Not merely those fortunate enough to live in comfort, like yourself and your family? These people whom you so despise are also your constituents, Congressman. You “represent” them. My turn to be outraged, by your dismissal of their needs.

I find it difficult to believe that any responsible human being could have written such a screed, let alone one elected to the privilege of serving the people of our district.

Again, without too much respect this morning,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

TIME TO LEAVE?


April 17, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Time to leave?

The number of Republican congressional representatives who have decided to leave rather than face stiff reelection odds in the fall continues to mount. Thus far, there are nearly 50 of them making that considered decision. Which leads me to ask:

How about it, Congressman?  Is it time to rethink your previously announced decision not to leave? Or do you still think your surf-riding skills will make it possible for you to ride the predicted Blue Tsunami? (For which, by the way, along with many other Democrats, I am not holding my breath. We also have serious work to do).

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

MUM'S THE WORD


April 17, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Volte face

In case you’re unfamiliar with that precise French expression, it means—according to Wikipedia’s definition—“an abrupt and complete reversal of attitude, opinion, or position.”  It’s about the only thing your Trump is any good at, witness today’s news in the New York Times, that he has reversed his administration’s latest decision on sanctions to be leveled against Russia.

We are surprised and shocked, of course. One comment noted in the Times article is that the rest of the world has difficulty knowing whether to laugh or cry. Russia, the same person noted, has no difficulty laughing.

Does it not bother you that the United States has become a laughing stock to the rest of the world? What are you planning to do or say about this, as a US Congressman? Still nothing?

Shame on you, sir, for your silence.

Not so respectfully today,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, April 16, 2018

SCOUT'S HONOR

April 16, 2018

 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Scout’s honor

Regarding the James Comey brouhaha: it’s pretty simple, really, isn’t it? Who are you going to believe, the man who’s proves himself almost daily to be a compulsive, serial liar… or the Eagle Scout?

I agree that Comey can be a pretty annoying witness. The self-righteous, punctilious sense of duty that compelled him to make that spurious statement, days before the 2016 election, that surely contributed to Hillary Clinton’s loss is on display again as he talks about his book and the moral transgressions of Donald Trump. There is a point at which a pious sense of honor overcomes common sense.

But can you seriously doubt that Trump is a liar? Can you condone the attitude toward women expressed not only in the infamous “pussy” tape but in a variety of other circumstances, too? Can you excuse the conflicts of interest that allow him to enrich himself, as well as his family and friends? Can you explain his continuing deference to more than one murderous dictator—though most especially Russia’s Putin? Comey comes across, in his latest ABC interview as elsewhere, as earnest, frank, and scrupulously honest. That a President of the United States would stoop to the kind of petty invective of Trump’s tweets is beyond comprehension. Aside from anything else, it validates everything that Comey has to say about him.

I ask you to join those few Republican voices of conscience that have begun to speak out about the president’s turpitude. Unless you do, you are complicit in his lies and his infantile behavior. 

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

YOUR TWEET


April 11, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Your Tweet

Just when I complain about your not tweeting (amongst other communications) you go ahead prove me wrong by tweeting yesterday. A nice coincidence.

But I have to say your tweet made little sense to me. You seemed to be commending your Trump for “standing up to dictators with strength” and asserting that his fooling around with tariffs has resulted in China backing down. I don’t see it that way. In the current skirmish that may, or may not precede a trade war with China, I see little sign of an overall, well-thought strategy for American business; and I’m sure that Xi Jinping plays better chess that does our impulsive president. (Sorry, I still can’t bring myself to give him a capital “P”!)

As for strength, I see none of it in Trump. Strength comes in part from a sense of inner security, in part from a clear vision and persistence in the pursuit of it. In Trump I see foolhardiness in the place of fearlessness, which is weakness posing as strength. Strength also recognizes and acknowledges vulnerability; it reaches out for and embraces assistance and advice. It does not make loud proclamations about itself, but rather stands back, modestly, and operates with quiet efficiency.

When it comes to the need for real strength, we see Trump backing down on every issue. We see him cowering before dictators rather than standing up to them, as you claim. What he projects is empty bellicosity, not power—and I’m afraid the whole world knows it. I’m surprised that you would argue otherwise.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

COMMUNICATIONS


April 10, 2018

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Dear Congressman,

Re: Communications

There’s a reason I write to you so much about Trump and your fellow Republicans rather than about your own congressional activities: it’s hard to find any real information about what you actually do.

My main (but not exclusive) media sources are the New York Times, The Guardian, The Hill, and social media outlets which I treat with appropriate suspicion. But mostly I run searches for you online: your Twitter feed, your press releases, your articles and opinion pieces—though these are few. Your website, I have to say, is a real anachronism—poorly designed, with very little information, most of which is well past its sell-by date. There’s no updating. You link to your blog, in which I see no entries since February 26, 2016! And so on. Am I missing something? Is there some place I can follow what you’re doing for your constituents in Washington on a day-to-day basis? Where I can find your opinions on issues of current importance?

I say this because I think it is one of the important duties of a Congressperson, to be actively involved in the issues of the day and to communicate on a consistent basis with the people he or she represents. I search, but I find no real effort on your part to keep us abreast of your activities. You must, I presume, have at least one media consultant on your staff—who is, to be honest, not doing a good job, unless it be to obfuscate and dissemble.

Particularly at this moment, with the November election looming, we constituents need to be informed about your representation of our interests. If I’m missing something, I’d appreciate it if you’d point me in the right direction. (I mean, of course, right as in right-hand, left-hand…) This is, by the way, the 255th letter I’ve written to you. Still no response. Another communications lapse?

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.


POLLUTION

April 25, 2018 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 101 Main Street #380 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Dear Congressman, Re:...