May. 14th, 2017

truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Dear Mr. Obama,

I hope this letter is not at all unusual, but I am writing to thank you for being the forty-fourth President of the United States, and serving two terms ethically, generously, and in kindness of spirit. Being President is a thankless job, and I appreciate that you were willing to do it twice.

I have been spurred to write this letter by the deplorable actions of our forty-fifth President, but my gratitude to you has nothing to do with him. I didn't always agree with your decisions, but I believed then and believed now that you were making the best decisions you could under the circumstances you found yourself in, and always with the good of the people of the United States--ALL the people of the United States--in the forefront of your mind. No matter what the current government manages to do in its efforts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, you did a invaluable thing in making it happen at all.

I am sure you are glad to be retired, and I hope your retirement is excellent, for you deserve it to be.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,
Sarah Monette



Monument Review
MS-1530
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Sir or Madam:

This spring, 80% of the beautiful old trees lining the block I live on had to come down. Mostly this was because of the Emerald Ash Borer, and the maple tree in front of our house was dying, so it was entirely necessary and correct. But I was still heart-broken, and I am still grieving for those trees.

That is the microcosm of the terrible grief and rage I feel at the idea of any of our national monuments being stripped of their status. There is no reason for this review to be conducted, except that President Trump wants to break things just to be able to say he's broken them--and, no doubt, to profit from the exploitation of the land and sea that will no longer be protected from his greed.

I have been to Giant Sequoia National Monument. The grandeur and stunning beauty of the sequoias are beyond my ability to describe--the Romantic poets of the early nineteenth century would undoubtedly have called them sublime if they'd ever seen them. These trees are worthy of our protection if for no other reason than that they are unique in the world; if they are destroyed, we lose something that is irreplaceable, something the value of which cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Their worth is far greater than any profit that could possibly be made from their destruction.

I have not personally visited any of the other national monuments under review--but now I want to, because I believe that I will love them as I love the sequoias. America is a continent full of marvels and wonders, and if they "belong" to us, then we are responsible for keeping them. The decision to protect these national monuments, including Bears Ears, was the correct decision, and I am writing to ask you not to undo that decision. Each of these monuments is irreplaceable and priceless.

I confess that I am also concerned about what President Trump may do next, if he succeeds in his effort to unmake these national monuments. I no longer believe that any consideration of ethics or decency govern his actions, and I don't believe he has any values other than narrow self-interest, egotism, and greed. Therefore, I am asking you to stop him. Don't compromise, don't yield so much as a square inch. Protect the land and sea that have been put into your keeping.

I will be sending a hard copy of this letter via U.S. Mail, and please do make my comments public. I will also be posting this letter on my blog: truepenny.dreamwidth.org.

Thank you for the time and attention you are giving Executive Order 13792, even though your attention is more than its petty greed and malice deserve.

[comment tracking # 1k1-8wdp-vjox]

[Please, gentle readers, follow this link and make your own comments. Only about 7,000 people have commented so far, and at least some portion of them are opposed to the protection of the national monuments. The deadline to comment for Bears Ears National Monument is May 26; for all other monuments, the deadline is July 10.

Bears Ears is the newest national monument, only designated last year; it seems to be the monument most directly under attack. I am suspicious that this is the reason behind that separate, and much closer, deadline.]

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