Monday, October 23, 2017

THIRD WORLD?

October 23, 2017

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

Dear Congressman,

Re: Third World?

You’re probably delighted by today’s headline in the New York Times, suggesting that the congressional inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 elections are being threatened by partisan politics.

I myself am appalled. As I’ve said before in my letters, the Cold War did not end in the fall of the Berlin wall, nor indeed the collapse of the Soviet Union. It continues to this day. And thanks to our long period of self-congratulation, denial, and neglect, the Russians are winning.

Last year’s attack on our electoral system was unquestionably an act of cyber war. Yet because Trump “won” the election, he is content to do nothing about it. Because Republicans dominate in the House and Senate, they are content to do nothing about it.

When does this stop? At what point will those in power in this country take action to respond to Putin and his mignons? At what point, if ever, do we step back into our leadership position in the world? Far from “making America great again,” Trump and his administration are rapidly diminishing our reputation, our power, our honor as a country.

And you, Congressman, are an enabler of this disgraceful desertion of responsibility. At this rate, we'll soon be joining the Third World.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I HAVE A COLD

October 20, 2017


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

Dear Congressman,

Re: A cold

I’m afraid I brought a cold back with me from Canada, and am unable to concentrate for long enough to write a decent letter. This brief note will have to suffice for the day. Did you read my long letter about the Canadian health care system, by the way? Amazing what can be done with good will and a sense of social responsibility on the part of lawmakers!

Regards,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

PROTECT US FROM THIS MAN...

October 19, 2017

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

Dear Congressman,

Re: Presidential Protection

Well, I know it’s old news—I’ve been gone for a while—but I was tickled to read in a report from Business Insider that Gen. John Kelly has been denying you access to the president with your purported Julian Assange scoop. I wonder why? Could it be because the good General suspects your information to be worthless? Not only that, but also that it’s the kind of nonsense that Trump would readily seize on with the misguided enthusiasm with which he listens to Fox news.

Your own theory, I read, is somewhat different. You believe that “the White House staff and other top people in the administration are trying to protect the president from himself”—your words, it seems. “That’s what they think,” you added sagely, “and in fact they are usurping his authority to make decisions—the important decisions—for himself.” If this is the case, I hope to God you’re right. May they continue to protect the president from himself and, by extension, the rest of us from him.

By the way, I also learn—this from the non-partisan Cook Political Report—that your district is now “a toss-up” for the 2018 election. House Democrats, it seems, are seizing the chance to put out anti-Rohrabacher ads to your increasingly population of Spanish-speaking constituents. I’m hoping the work that many of us are doing out here may be having some effect.

Respectfully,




Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I WAS TOLD



October 17, 2017

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

Dear Congressman,

Re: I was told…

We have come to expect this, alas, from your “president.” But what an ungracious, tasteless and entirely gratuitous insult not only to Obama but to others of his predecessors yesterday! He casually accused them, in a public forum, of having failed in their duty to express condolences to the families of fallen soldiers. When questioned further by a disbelieving reporter, he retreated a fraction with the tiresomely familiar excuse: I was told.

Who told him? He did not deign to say. But he insisted, of course, that none of his predecessors had done this as well as he does—in spite of the fact that he allowed two full weeks to elapse before even mentioning the loss. He insisted that he had personally signed letters to send out “tonight or tomorrow.” Do we believe this, too? I think not.

The arrogance itself is astounding, as is the casual ease with which the man tells his lies. The accompanying self-congratulation and aggrandizement redouble the crass tastelessness of the president’s groundless accusation.

Is it not time that you, as a conservative US Congressman, stood up to this kind of behavior? Where are your conservative values? Where is your sense of propriety? Where is your sense of responsibility to those who entrusted you with your office? We expect nothing less of you than a public rebuke for this gratuitous attack on our former presidents, and this cavalier disrespect for those who have given their lives.

Hear something? Say something!


(signed) Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, October 16, 2017

HEALTH CARE; AN AMERICAN SCANDAL

October 16, 2017


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

Dear Congressman,

Re: Health care

Forgive the long silence. I’m just back from Canada, with two poignant stories to remind me just how dreadful our for-profit health care system is, here in the United States—and how it can and should be done with dignity and compassion for our fellow human beings. I hope you’ll listen.

The first story comes from a railway employee we met along the way. I’ll respect his privacy, and his family’s, by saying nothing that might identify him. What matters is that one of his sons was born with a heart defect, requiring several major surgeries and constant care. It involved travel to distant hospitals for specialized treatment, which meant, in turn, providing for the travel expenses of his parents, including hotel and meal costs. ALL of this was covered by the Canadian health care system. No potentially crippling out-of pocket expenses for the family. The best available treatment for the child, who is doing well as a result of the treatment and care—and who would otherwise have not survived. The father, who told us this story with great, emotional gratitude, has happily paid his dues into the system, and is glad that what he pays into the system helps provide similarly compassionate care to those in need.

The second story comes from a friend we met along our journey, a city-dweller whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her condition required all the familiar, soul-destroying treatments—the debilitating chemotherapy, the surgeries, the reconstructive surgery, the post-operative care and therapy. All of which would have been prohibitively expensive for a private citizen with a condition that might well have been rejected by an insurance company looking to maximize its profits and minimize its expenses. Aside from the purely financial aspect of the whole, long, difficult experience, our friend made it clear that is was of incalculable value simply to know that the health care system was in place to support them throughout the ordeal. An immigrant himself—though long a permanent resident—he was amazed, he told us repeatedly, to have been faced with no costs: “Zero,” he insisted. And repeated, “Zero!”

We do not have such a system in this country. Every other advanced country in the world has this, or something similar. No other country operates its health care system based on profits—profits for insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, drug companies, health care providers of all sorts. Everyone in the system needs to take a cut, and the result is a system that, aside from lacking the slightest element of human compassion, is absurdly expensive and dominated by bureaucracy at every level. It’s unconscionable that those unfortunate enough to be afflicted with health problems should be further afflicted by bureaucratic and financial ones.

What’s wrong with America, that we allow this to happen? That we now stand by and allow a single man, our “president,” to single-handedly dismantle even the minimal health care system that took literally decades to overcome the outright hostility and obstructionism of a Congress that is supposed to represent our interests? Are we in such thrall to the almighty dollar that even the health of our citizens must depend on others making a profit from our misfortunes?

It’s time to get to work, Congressman. Every reasonable, thinking person knows that Obamacare needs work, not repeal. It needs the collaboration of political parties working for the benefit of those the people are supposed to represent. You have undertaken that responsibility. It’s time to put an end to the obscenity of sacrificing the public health to corporate profits.

Respectfully,


Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

O, CANADA! (OH, ENGLAND!)

October 10, 2017

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

Dear Congressman,

Re: O, Canada! (Oh, England!)

I leave for Canada today.

Not permanently, as you might guess. Things do look a lot better up there, both socially and politically, for an old leftie like myself. I might consider a move—it shouldn’t be too hard, with my British place of birth.  I also have a Canadian son (my oldest was born in Nova Scotia and holds on proudly to his Canadian passport and citizenship, even though he spent only the first couple of years of his life there!)

But… the sad truth is that I’m pampered and spoiled by the climate in Southern California. I have lived here since 1968, and I fear I have been softened up by constant sunshine and warmth. The thought of a return, today, to the frigid winter temperatures of Canada is not an appealing one. No more than the distantly heard siren call, in my later years, of my home country. The frequent cloud cover and the constant rain, no matter how much lovely green they generate in fields, woods, and hedgerows, do not elevate the spirits.

However, all this is of no interest to you. (Nor, it seems, are my letters; now more than 160 of them since January, and all without response.) Even so, I wanted to let you know that I will fall silent, at least for the next week or so. If you don’t hear from me, it’s not because I’m any less committed to my cause, but rather because I’m… in Canada.

Respectfully,



Peter Clothier, Ph.D.

Monday, October 9, 2017

DON'T TRUST HIM

Democrats learned today that it doesn't pay to trust the man masquerading as the US President in the Oval Office. Their delighted announcement, just a few days ago, of an agreement on the DACA problem looks naive in retrospect. The "president" now puts outrageous conditions on his implied promises--conditions he must know the Democrats can never agree to.

THIRD WORLD?

October 23, 2017 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 101 Main Street #380 Huntington Beach, CA 92648 Dear Congressman, Re: Third World? ...