Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Letter That I Sent to the White House on a Whim

Dear Mr. President,

I know. That’s just a title.

I thought I’d write you a letter.

My name is Michael Bonanno and I live in Antioch, California. I know that you don’t come to California very often. The state doesn’t vote for your party and you see no need to pay California much attention. I understand that.

However, did you know that much of California rests on a fault line?

A fault line is a weakened portion of earth that tends to shift now and again, causing what they call earthquakes. In case you hadn’t heard, California experienced a significant earthquake in 1989. It caused a lot of damage.

You see, when an earthquake happens, the shifting of the weakened earth disrupts the infrastructure that rests upon it. As you may or may not be able to imagine, houses and bridges and stores and golf courses and the like get moved around pretty good during an earthquake.

I was just wondering if we had an earthquake, would your administration have time to help us out? I know that you want the federal government to play a very small role in the lives of Americans, so you may hesitate to help us out. Of course, now I’m really worried that California voted for the other guy in 2004.

Small government is good, though. I mean, keep it small.

Yes, government does have its role.

I mean, if government doesn’t decide what is and what isn’t a marriage, who’s going to decide?

If government doesn’t deal with the pro athletes’ steroid issue, who’s going to do that?

If government doesn’t protect those who want to flaunt the ten commandments, who’s going to protect them?

If government doesn’t keep a good list of all of the kids that could be eligible for military service, the private sector sure won’t do it.

Government should be there for Americans some times, but only when it’s a matter of extreme importance. I understand that, Mr. President.

In case you didn’t know this, there really isn’t much of a warning system for earthquakes. As you may or may not have seen, before hurricanes make land fall, you know, when they traverse the ocean to the land, that’s called land fall, weather people have some technology to track them. They actually know where a hurricane is at any given time and they’re able to predict where the hurricane may make land fall and how powerful it is and what damage it might cause. I just didn’t know if you were aware of that stuff.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, don’t give us much warning. Granted they’re working on ways to predict earthquakes, but, with your goal of shrinking government and all, you’re probably leaving the funding of such research up to the private sector. Hey, that’s OK. If there’s money in it, the private sector will probably help out a whole lot.

Maybe you can get some churches to volunteer people to help out with the research.

I’m just a little worried that’s all.

Maybe you have some ideas about how the private sector will help us out if we experience an earthquake. Since earthquakes can’t be predicted, do you think you can share your ideas with some of your bosses? Tell them to look beyond the actual disaster and loss of property and life and think about the financial rewards they can reap. That might give them some initiative to help out.

Well, I thought this letter was timely. I thought it would give you a heads up.

I realize, Mr. President, that you are the messenger. I realize that you don’t really come up with ideas and policy. I realize that you’re just a front guy for the people who really do the thinking.

Who do you think that I should contact to really get some of this stuff looked into? I mean, who tells you what you should think and say most of the time? I’d really like to see the people with the empowerment look into the stuff that I’ve just written to you.

It’s like September 11, 2001.

I know that you realized that some damage had to be done in New York and Washington. Your bosses would never have had an excuse to invade Iraq without it. Good thing Cheney was able to get the order out for Flight 93 in time to down it. He just didn’t count on people actually interfering with the plan.

I realize that you’re not really to blame. Hey, they promised you the presidency, and, I might say, they delivered. I don’t blame you for 9/11, Iraq, Madrid, London or any of those things. In fact, I think you didn’t even know that your bosses were even going to do some of those things.

I must say that the speeches that they wrote for you after those events were pretty good. Yes, of course there were some holes in what they told you to say especially in light of all of the things that they’ve told you to say since then. But you’ve been lucky. In spite of the fact that you’re still learning the mother tongue, people like your wit and the hard work you do on the ranch. I think a lot of hard working people identify with that hard work. And the average American’s vocabulary is probably much like yours.

Did your bosses tell you that, lately, a lot of people have been disappointed in some of the things that they’ve told you to talk about?

Yes, sir, they’re called polls. They ask people questions like, “Do you approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president?”

Lots of people are saying that they’re starting to disapprove. They don’t understand like we do that it’s not your fault. You just do and say what you’re told. You can’t help it if your bosses are telling you to say the wrong stuff. It’s not your fault, is it? I mean, you’ve got a life that you have to get on with, right?

Boy, I just realized how much I’ve written here. Take your time, Mr. President. It’s not like there’s any hurry for you to read this mail. Take a few days.

But I would appreciate it if you asked your bosses what they plan on doing if California experiences one of those earthquakes. I hope you remember what earthquakes are, Mr. President. I realize that I wrote about it a long time ago.

Anyway, don’t let your bosses kill anymore people with fake terrorist attacks, OK?

Remember that hurricane that just happened, the one that flooded New Orleans? You know, the one Laura renamed for us. It was first called Katrina, but Laura thought Karina and a couple of variations of Corina were better. I must say that they are sweeter names.

Well, between that hurricane and the possibility of an earthquake – take your time looking at the beginning of this very long message – there will be enough death and destruction. There will be plenty of opportunities for your bosses to make a little spending money without them staging another stunt like 9/11.

So, if you can convince them not to do that, some of us would really appreciate it.

That thing about we need to kill more kids in order to honor the kids we already killed? That was a killer, Mr. President. I don’t know who wrote that one for you, but I think it really reached a couple of people.

Don’t give up, Mr. President. I’m sure your bosses think that you’re doing a heck of a job.

If you ever feel like telling some of us about 9/11 and Iraq and all of the stuff your bosses have done, feel free. It would really make all that talk you do about god and Jesus and such seem a bit more credible, although you have lots of fans who really think you mean all that stuff.

Yep, you’re doing one heck of a job, Mr. President.

Michael Bonanno
Antioch, CA

P. S. Right now, my wife and I are merely “haves”. We don’t see becoming a “have mores” in the near future. In fact, we may be looking at joining the “have nots”. You didn’t mention the “have nots” in that speech in which you mentioned the “haves” and the “have mores”.

The “have nots”, Mr. President, are those people who don’t have enough money to be a pioneer or even a ranger. I’m sure they would be if they could. Those are really swell titles and I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t want to be a ranger or a pioneer.

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