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The state I live in has a lot of kool-aid drinkers.  I've been thinking about this letter for the past week or so and wonder whether it could actually help people decide to become a bit more reality based.

So, I'm looking for advice from the ojective Kos Krowd before I decide to submit this LTE in our smallish city.  Please also know that I am a public employee, and work with people who are kool-aid drinkers.  (They should quit, if they lived up to their principles, but prefer to suck the public teat.  Some of them are the worst abusers of the system..self-fulfilling prophesy and all.)

I'm a relatively new hire (with not inconsiderable prior experience with the system and municipality I work with), and an absolutely essential person because I am a programmer who works with the revenue system and needless to say, they can't really afford to dispose of me.  Still, my position became union since my last tenure and there are new policies I haven't yet read regarding political behavior that are binding.  (The administration is moderate; the assembly is split with plenty of teahadist voting power.)  

So the question is this:  is this letter sufficiently effective to ignore all that and submit?  
The letter follows the bouncy cloud below, for your consideration.

To the Editor:

We tried "Trickle Down", but what we got was "Trickle Up".

Lax enforcement of existing regulations got us a Gulf gusher, several tragic mining disasters, mad cow, E.Coli, chinese drywall and lead-laced toys.

We tried deregulation and got the most massive transfer of funds from the public to the private sector in history, a crashed global economy, decimated retirement funds, massive home foreclosures - many of them fraudulent,  members of the middle class going homeless and the most massive gap of wealth between the 1% and the middle class since the 19th century.

We're trying out privatization, and students have become debt-slaves, emerging from the for-profit school mills you see advertised daily with "degrees" that are immediately rejected by employers.  We have to pay for their defaulted, privatized loans when they can't get a job and find themselves destitute., Who pays?  We do, since the banks handling government education  loans simply must have their penalties. interest and fees, even though they are not actually producing a dang thing.  This is not growing an economy.  This is moving money from the lower classes to the higher classes via taxpayers.

We've had to convict judges for taking kickbacks after imposing maximum sentences on first time teenage offenders for the most petty of crimes because those judges were hired to fill up privatized juvenile facilities.  They lie to us about restitution while utilizing slave labor from private adult prisons in order to bring you more competitive pricing.  ( I'm still waiting for my  restitution - anyone else?)

"Cognitive Dissonance" is an accepted psychological term that describes the state of mind of a human being who has strongly held a belief that is contradicted by incontrovertible evidence.

Finally, this:  they aren't job creators.  They are profit makers.  If they think it will profit them more to hire you, they'll hire you.  But they'll just as soon fire you if they think Rajiid can adequately do your job.  It's about profit, baby.  To bring jobs back, you have to do a little more than spread more cash all over their tanned bodies.

Proven Law:  Those who adapt to a changed reality, survive.

Originally posted to Gustogirl on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Letters to the Editor.


Go with the LTE?

51%16 votes
48%15 votes

| 31 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:33:01 AM PDT

  •  You may want to republish later to get (12+ / 0-)

    more eyes seeing it.  It may go off the list before many people are up and round in the morning.  

    I would suggest you talk to your Union steward about your contract per the political part.  I would expect your 1st Amendment rights allow you to send in an LTE; however, there may be something in your contract that you should be aware of, first.

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:43:00 AM PDT

    •  Definitely Do Not Give Your Real Name or address. (7+ / 0-)

      You could just sign it "A concerned citizen". With a phony return address on the envelope. And if your fingerprints are on file anywhere. Use gloves when you write and mail it.

      I wrote a letter to the then Mayor of my town of notorious nuts. He was nice. But then we got a new Mayor and he didn't like it.  

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many Papers Require Real Name & Contact Info (6+ / 0-)

        even if they don't publish them. Several I've dealt with would not publish a letter till they contacted the supposed writer to verify they were both real and that they are the ones who sent in the letter. People sometimes write inflammatory things under a different name to get the other person in trouble.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:52:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Newspaper up here just wants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          a name. I got a little confused and thought the diarist was writing to where they work.

          I still say use a phony name.

          I, personally wouldn't send the letter . It's not worth it.

          It won't accomplish anything anyway.

          Better to just blog what diarist wants to say. It will receive a more receptive audience.

          I voted No, don't send it. Be sneaky it's a better way to do anything.

          Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

          by rebel ga on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:32:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I dunno about using (17+ / 0-)

    Rajiid. That seems rather harsh.

    You have a lot of most and massive.

    and a lot of unidentified they.

  •  are the banks still handling student loans? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought Obamacare ended the bankster middle men.
     - reducing costs for students, and providing funding for medical students choosing the primary care track.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:09:50 AM PDT

  •  Two changes (9+ / 0-)

    Lose the last sentence and use the word "outsource" instead of Rajiid and you can send it as your opinion.

  •  Be cautious. (8+ / 0-)

    If your letter hits a nerve there could be personal consequences that cannot be traced. I agree that you talk to your Union steward.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:49:40 AM PDT

  •  First step (8+ / 0-)
    Still, my position became union since my last tenure and there are new policies I haven't yet read regarding political behavior that are binding.
    Know those policies by heart, not only for this letter but for your future activities.  If you have questions about the policies, or how they might be applied, be careful about making inquiries around the office - find a local attorney who donates time to the ACLU and pose the questions to him/her.

    And lose Rajiid - use  "anyone who can do your job cheaper" instead.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:55:02 AM PDT

  •  Weigh the risks and benefits carefully (8+ / 0-)

    and remember these two things:

    Your job is never as secure as you think.

    Nobody has ever changed their mind due to a letter they read in the newspaper.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:04:10 AM PDT

    •  I actually have had my mind, well, not changed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Margd, Dirtandiron, Gustogirl, luckylizard

      outright but softened enough by a letter to the editor to research the issue more thoroughly.  Of course, it wasn't a paranoid, hate-filled diatribe, but a sensitive, well-thought-out comment, which made a huge difference.  Alas, that was over 20 years ago, though, and I fear the communication between increasingly polarized segments of our country has considerably declined.

  •  I couldn't vote in your poll because there are (6+ / 0-)

    Too many possible consequences to you.  While I understand your passion completely and I personally love to see things like this in the public eye, I couldn't influence you to do something that might cost you your livelihood.

    Obviously Rjiid has to go and and some amount of specificity as mentioned above would make it a stronger letter.  It is a concise, clear, and simple MSG., easily read.  It is short enough that those not of your opinion might read it through before tuning out completely.  In the final analysis, I'm not sure that it is worth risking your job.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:17:56 AM PDT

  •  Lots of good comments to consider above. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Margd, joe wobblie, Gustogirl

    One of my concerns would be the degree of red in your local community and among the officials and your co-workers, some of whom you include with the kool-aid drinkers.  The first immediate criticism that you are likely to face is that you are a public worker and therefore biased in your opinions.

    You point out many different, related issues, which are important to engaging thought or convincing someone, but you may also push a lot of buttons among the teabagger types.

    I think LTEs have more impact on specific local or state issues; less so on the state of the nation unless they can be tied directly to the local.

    You might also consider whether or not your letter would affect your working relationship with fellow employees.  They could make your environment very unpleasant if they are among the rabid right.

    And I think you might have more success taking the opportunity to engage others one on one as the occasion arises, which you may already do.

    99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

    by blueoasis on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:44:22 AM PDT

  •  one statistic you might include (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Dirtandiron, Nelsons, Gustogirl

    50%of the US population is classified as either "in poverty" or "low income".

    There is no middle class any more. The person at the midway point is barely getting by.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 03:49:00 AM PDT

  •  Remember, NO ONE is irreplaceable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, wilderness voice, Gustogirl

    Your skills and knowledge may give you some leverage but no one is irreplaceable.  If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, what would they do?  

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:30:11 AM PDT

  •  Avoid the use of "cognitive dissonce". It has (7+ / 0-)

    become a buzzword and too few people actually understand what it means. I appreciate your sentiment and admire your willingness to put this out for group editing. Thank you for getting involved. But the most meaningful editorials come from  those who put their names and addresses at the bottom of the editorial.

    •  Agree about Cognitive Dissonance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Gustogirl

      If your community is as red as you say, there will be readers who will have no idea what it is.  I would leave that paragraph out.

      It may also be a tad long.  You could edit for brevity.  

      I also agree that no minds will likely be changed, however, there are those who agree with your point of view who feel that they have been silenced by the right wing ranters.  All it takes  is one courageous voice speaking out to break the dam of silence.  

      I have had many letters to the editor published in a variety of venues.  I always signed my name, but I am retired now and was self-employed and later had a job with a non-profit whose management shared my views.

      You can sign your name but ask to have it withheld for publication.

      Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

      by arlene on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My guess. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, blueoasis, Gustogirl

    There is probably no contractual probibition against you publicly stating your opinion about general policy questions. The prohibition likely extends only to activity related to specific elections. But that is only a guess.

    But with respect to the question about whether it would be effective enough for you to chance it you would need to consider the amount of noise that is out there related to these issues.

    I think it presents an effective set of arguments against conservative economic priorities but the reality is that there is so much rhetorical noise going on that one letter, taken by itself, is going to have only minimal influence, no matter how pithy and inclusive it is. What counts is the cumulative effect of the efforts of a large number of people.  

    I would say hold off on an outlet where you would be publicly identified if you are at all concerned that it would violate your terms of employment and jeopardise your job. It would however be quite effective on any number of internet forums that give you anonymity. But whatever you learn about the limitations on your right to participate, please do continue to offer whatever support you can in the struggle. It is obvious you know what is at stake.

  •  If you believe it, say it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We don't have a free country if people are afraid to say what they think. People died for freedom of speech.

  •  I would not take the chance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Gustogirl

    This might have ramifications on your job. I worked in government and I saw the managers get rid of people they didn't like. If they want to they will find a way.

    Also, I agree with you about the worst teabaggers where both the husband and wife work for the government they so despise. Ironic isn't it?

  •  It's Way Too Long for Most Papers' Policies. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Gustogirl

    150-200 words is the limit for LTE's in most papers. Yours almost certainly has a stated policy either printed in the paper regularly or on their web site. Or you could call them.

    Newspapers don't allow enough space for writers to explain anything reasonably. You have space to make one and only one point and support it with a reference or two.

    We aren't allowed to be pundits or analysts as members of the general public.

    You're trying to take on most of Reaganomics, that's too much. My gut feel is that if you limit yourself strictly to deregulation and support your point with a few of the biggest results that your conservative readers already believe happened, you'll have the most impact with readers and put yourself at less risk in your job.

    But it's early and I can't claim to be thinking very clearly about the risks to your job.

    Good luck. It's a fine letter as it stands, the only problem is what the media allow us to submit.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 05:48:27 AM PDT

  •  a robust middle class creates jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Gustogirl

    giving extra tax cuts to the superrich by taking from the middle class?  we tried that and got the worst recession in decades.

  •  My pappy always told me that arguing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Gustogirl

    With small town Republicans was like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Romney 2012 - Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a MITT 2012 computer. I became operational at the M.I.T.T. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of March 1947. My instructor was Mr. Langley. He taught me to sing a song. Daisy, Daisy...

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 06:35:13 AM PDT

  •  While this is ALL true, such message doesn't work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Gustogirl

    Undortunately, each valid point raised will fall into deaf ear for conservative will counter with bs. Especially the kool aid drinkers who will prefer to commit harakiri before agreeing with anything Obama does!

    What needs to be addressed is these people's REAL cost for the ALERNATIVE measures. Because EVERY decision or NON decision has a COST associated with it.

    Example: if you change you car's oil every 15,000mi instead of every 5,000mi, do you save any money?
    Answer: No, for you will be incurring OTHER cost from this (more fuel, more repairs, etc.)

    We need to demonstrate the REAL cost incurred by taxpayers by NOT properly funding education, infrastructure, health care, social programmes, contraception, etc., for these people ONLY understand the bottom line: their WALLETS.

  •  I think the most effective LTE (0+ / 0-)

    try to deal with one idea instead of a long list of them. The letter doesn't have to be one sentence long, you can develop the idea (but concisely). In looking over your list of complaints, there seem to be several that could be more generally interesting than others. I suggest for your first letter, pick one idea, develop it using perhaps 3-5 sentences (so you can have a mini-beginning, middle, and end), and send that. Also, if this is your very first time, why not pick something that has fairly broad support in you community, and present it from your specific point of view.

    I've written quite a few of these letters and of course most of them just sink with no sign that anyone has noticed them, while others make some people take the trouble to look up your phone number and call you to complain about this or that.

    Personally, I've never wanted to submit a letter anonymously or under a nom de plume. I see the purpose of the letters section as a way for community members to join a public discussion.

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