One of the things about having a blog, or writing anything that it "published" in some way, is that anything stupid you say lives forever. Here are some stupid letters that came to light recently:
Senator Menendez writes to Santa:
Dear Santa Claus,
I am writing out of concern, because you may have to move from the North Pole due to the dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice. The Navy's chief oceanographer says that by the summer of 2020 the North Pole may not have summer ice and other scientists project that an ice-free Arctic is possible as soon as 2012!
Scientists overwhelmingly agree that polar ice is melting because of greenhouse gas pollution and I am working hard to reduce these emissions. But there is probably nothing we can do in time to save the North Pole. I am worried about your safety and your ability to deliver billions of Christmas gifts if the ice cap on the North Pole no longer stays frozen all year. What will happen to your house, your workshop, the elves' houses and your reindeer barns?
I want you to know that if you want to relocate to the beautiful state of New Jersey, I would be proud to assist you. But given the climate you are accustomed to, I will understand if you would like to relocate to the South Pole. Just be sure not to move to the Antarctic Peninsula or West Antarctic ice sheet, areas that are also experiencing rapid ice melt.
Please know that I will work to mobilize the U.S. federal government to assist when you relocate. I am sure we can both agree that on a warming planet, we need to do all we can to save Christmas.
Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic
Dear Mr. Boehner,
I write to congratulate you on becoming Speaker of the House on Wednesday, only the second Catholic Republican to hold the gavel. It is a source of pride for you, for your family and for all Catholics in the Great Republic. Please be assured of my prayers and apostolic blessing.
I also want to congratulate you for articulating so strongly your commitment to the defense of unborn human life. The bishops tell me that this new health care law provides federal funding of abortion and that this is one of the reasons you opposed that law. I am not so sure. I am eighty-two, and at eighty-two, you learn to listen very attentively to the sisters about health care, and they tell me the new health care law does not provide federal funds for abortion. Nonetheless, I hope that even if you are able to strengthen the rules preventing any government monies for abortions, you will beat back any effort to overturn to the health care law as a whole. Frankly, the rest of the world has been laughing at the U.S. for decades because you spend so much on health care and don’t even cover all your people. I have not been laughing. I have been scandalized that a great and religious country like yours has taken so long to guarantee health care as a right. I have spoken about this as clearly as possible and I am sure that you, Mr. Boehner, as a good Catholic will heed my voice in this matter.
There are some other areas of Catholic social teaching that I wish to call to your attention. As you know, in the past few years, one of the dominant themes of my speeches has been the moral imperative to address global warming. (I am told that in the U.S. you have to say “climate change” because “global warming” does not poll well, especially during the winter months, but here at the Vatican we do not take polls so I can call it what it is.) I invite you, my dear son, to look at the future generations of the world the way you look at an individual unborn child, as demanding protection because of their inherent dignity. Being good stewards of the environment, sir, is being pro-life too.
Given at St. Peter’s, this third day of January 2011, the sixth of my pontificate, Benedict XVI, P.P.