Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October 1, 2008

Normally, October 1 for me is usually a time to remember the dead, most notably my father Donald G. Clarke who was born on this date in 1935 and who died in 1995. But another thing died yesterday, the New York Sun. This was one of only two newspapers (the other being Brooklyn College's Excelsior) that published any of my sumbissions. Some of my classic retorts to New York's corrupt political culture (and its former leader, Eliot Spitzer) were published there within the last year. But now it is no more, and for the second time in the last 60 years, the New York Sun has set. This pretty much narrows the conservative print voices in this town down to News Corp's New York Post and Wall Street Journal.

I got an e-mail from my sister today. Apparantly she wrote to the President last week. A slightly edited (since she did put down some personal info I would never allow to be passed about on the internet) version of the letter is below...

From: suzanne johnson
Subject: Letter from your cousin (yes this is for real)
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 8:13 PM

Well I figured I would write to you while you are still the President. My name is Suzanne Faith Johnson, surname, Suzanne F. Clarke. Through extensive genealogical research by my brother, I found out you are my 3rd cousin. Some people may not believe in you and all that you have done for this country. I am not one of thoes people. I was happy when you won the presidental race 8yrs ago and hate to see you go. Don't let people tell you that you haven't done a good job. They aren't in your shoes and do not have the weight of the country weighing down on their shoulders .
I believe in you!!
One of the other reasons I wanted to write you is because I am a resident if Ripley Tennessee. A state that offers no healthcare to the poor. Don't worry, I am not asking for money, but if you could do anyhting about the Medicaid system here I would greatly appreciate it.
I was in a car wreck 4yrs ago that greatly damaged both knees and my back. I am in need of total knee replacement and epideral blocks for my back. But under the current lack of Medicaid assistance to someone in my situation ( I am unable to work) it looks like I will never again be able to play ball with my son or even walk down the block. I was a brown belt in taekwondo and had to abandon my dream of ever being a black belt.
I am sure you hear sob stories everyday, and some are worse than mine. But I know you believe in Family , so I hope that mabey you might take a second look at this. I lost my mom to cancer in '91 and my dad in '95.from Lou Gehrigs. He served proudly in the United tates Air Force for 25 yrs.and I know he would be proud of the job you have done.
I know I may never hear from you, but I want to wish you the best for the future.And thank you for standing up for us as a country. I believe in you!!
Suzanne Faith Clarke Johnson

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 9:04 AM

On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your correspondence.

We appreciate hearing your views and welcome your suggestions.

Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to
every message.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

For the record, my sister and I are related to President Bush through our great X8 grandparents Thomas Andrews and Hannah Kirby of Middletown, CT. However, my sister's editing ability is almost as bad as our distant cousin's, which may be why the White House internet staff sent her that response.

And in honor of my late father's 73rd birthday, here is a YouTube clip of one of his favorite comedians, Tom Lehrer...