I originally sent this letter in October of 2004 and got an automated response:
I have watched you speak and read as well as watched numerous pieces of information on your background. You seem to be an honorable man with a genuine interest in creating a better vision for the whole of America.
I would like to humbly make some recommendations on relating some of your points.
When challenged on your voting record, I think you miss explaining the fundamental fact that bills are a combination issues and are generally constructed to provide by-ins for the opposition. Therefore the truly beneficial cops on streets program is tied into a get tougher on crime bill which includes factors for the death penalty.
On the topic of the war in Iraq, I think Libya is actually a supporting example of sanctions over war. Growing up in the 80's Qaddafi was portrayed every bit as evil and dangerous as Saddam. And although we did bomb his house, we did not start a protracted military engagement. And now with far less loss of lives on ALL sides things are changing.
I also wonder why you do not focus on the specific instances of Rumsfeld's Connection through a Swiss company in selling missile guidance systems to Iraq.
I think the very fact that it is cheaper to buy drugs from Canada because of their national healthcare system providing them with stronger leverage in negotiating prices, illustrates the potential ameliorating effect a national healthcare system would have while still providing a security to the drug companies in ensuring a larger consumer base in the previously uninsured people who might not have been able to afford or even known that they needed a given medication.
I also have to say that I find it disappointing that you have ignored the issue of Israel and Palestine. Currently America sits silent while Israel strikes on poor residential communities while destroying their meager means of sustenance. We should be pushing for the dismantling of the settlements on the wrong side of the line of demarcation to establish a zone of security for the Palestinian people. You are well aware that what breeds terrorism more than anything else are voiceless oppression and unjust disparity in opportunity.
This applies to the United States itself as represented by the unjust, institutionalized disparity of education and therefore opportunity in this country. We can't continue to pretend that quotas in university make up for passing kids along through substandard inner city or rural public schools. It is a disservice to all students of color because it creates a preconception among the student body and faculty that the given student was a "quota?
It seems so often that the American public is sold explanations that assume the immutability of assumptions that are in fact not immutable. For example the practice of allocating education money based on local property taxes at the town level rather than on at a bear minimum a statewide level of uniform redistribution based on need. The entire society benefits from less crime and more skilled individuals to drive our future creativity. In point of fact Mr. Levine of the Columbia Teachers School said that it is time for the unpalatable solution funding needs in the historically underserved areas even over the needs of suburban schools due to the social crisis this problem is creating as well as the huge gap in resources and incentives to qualified teachers.
Before, i continue I should explain that i am an African American with a strong Native American background as well. My father was a teacher in Newark, NJ public school and i attended catholic school my entire childhood until college. But I can recall going to my father's classes when I was preschool. And i witnessed my father having to frisk students for weapons and the general lack of an environment to promote learning and form that point on I took a very personal interest in what schools I was attending. another anecdote, while in my junior year of high school in the honors program, a new student Michael Johnson arrived from Jamaica, after we had become friends he explained that the school he went to in Jamaica had 4 years of elementary school and 8 years of secondary school and he had already had 2 years of calculus before his eleventh year. We need to reinstill a cultural appreciation for education over superficial esthetics and wanting to be just "cool"
I ultimately went to Duke University and studied Computer Science and Physics. Eventually working at Bell Laboratories, Sony Music, and Salomon Brothers and other corporate jobs as a computer programmer and at several points CTO, I have seen that the trickle down theory of economics does not work in the boardroom. The people whose work create the products or provide the services are the least protected and first fired while what employees that remain are told to work twice as hard until their far too often eventual firing. Meanwhile the company executives, often in position through nepotism or elite relationships, leave the sinking ships with disproportionate shares of the corporate remains. Middle class needs to recognize that as long as i have been out of college the amount of money you can make and still be living in poverty has grown. And the number of people moving into the wealthy class has decreased and it means we are moving to a two class society driven on propagandistic media and consumer lust. But even the wealthy need to understand that this disparity will ultimately hurt them as well as dissatisfaction leads to more crime and lack of skilled knowledge and creative workers will result in our national decline.
I don't know if you will get through all of this but i would like to close on the fact that the ultimate checks for globalization will be a mandate for globalized rights for workers and a practical global strategy of environmental management. Despite the decline this would represent to certain industries the social and environmental crisis are escalating and the current strategies of what we would call in computers the "greedy algorithm" are not sustainable.