Dear Readers:

Today is my 92nd birthday, an age which gives me the privilege of asking for the kind of birthday present I would most like to get. That present is simply this: Please take this seriously.

As you can see, the letter below is addressed primarily to our American occupiers, since they’re the ones most likely to climb on and make it move. But it’s also for every American voter who can see that something is crucially threatening our society’s basic needs, and wants to do something to stop it.

Dear Occupier:

You’ve made a wonderful start! Now give the Republican war machine a kick where it hurts them the most. Copy the letter below. Send it to every Republican official or candidate in your state, town or district. Make some more copies and send them to all your friends … and do it quickly, before the Republican High Command finds some way of stopping it.

The Republicans think they own everything, from the Supreme Court to your local school board. They come pretty close, too. But they don’t own your vote — yet. Use it while you’ve still got it!

Print or type your name
And your home address
All of it

Dear former Republican friend:

This letter is to let you know that your Party’s tactics of destroying the ability of our government to function by means of your no-tax increase-pledge is too recklessly destructive a threat to be taken, even by fanatics.

Accordingly, I now pledge that I, the undersigned, will never again vote for any Republican candidate for any elective office in America until the Republican Party abandons this perilous, un-American and very nearly treasonable action.

Sincerely yours,
(A Registered Voter
At the Above Address.)



  1. Ann Pohl says:

    Happy Birthday Pops — I am working in support of the Occupy movement, mounting a community campaign here in the backwoods of Canada to show that we the 99% occupy this land here, and are DETERMINED to protect the land, air, water, and all living creatures from the devastation of shale gas fracking. Thanks for your support of the Occupiers. You make me proud. 92 kisses and hugs, plus one to grow on! Your daughter, Ann

  2. Ace Lightning says:

    Happy Birthday! You\’re only a little younger than Pete Seeger 😉
    (Don\’t bother sending him a copy of the letter – I don\’t think he\’s ever voted for a Republican in his life.) Now I\’m going to spread this around as much as I can.

    May you celebrate many more birthdays, and see the *good* things you\’ve imagined come true.

  3. James says:

    Happy Birthday !

    What a great idea.

    All the best.

  4. John Kavanagh says:

    Look I realize the Republicans are despicable, but so are the Democrats. Obama not only kept us in Iraq (although he claims we’ll be leaving soon) and Afghanistan, but he started a war with Libya on his own hook. I hate to put a damper on your birthday, but the idea that the Republicans are evil and the Democrats are good is infantile. Both parties are despicable.

  5. beth meacham says:

    We are wishing you the very happiest of birthdays!

  6. Robert Nowall says:

    Thanks for the laugh…I get a kick when someone from the party of slavery and segregation, of Jeff Davis and Bull Connor—and of tax and spend ad infinitum—thinks the Republicans are infringing on our personal freedoms…

  7. David Greybeard says:

    Birthday Wish Granted! With much love from a fan, David Keith

  8. Gerard says:

    Dear Mr Phol
    on behalf of the Science Fiction Bookclub in London England ( I’d like to wish you a very Happy Birthday.

    As as a bunch of book readers are of course lefty-pinko-socalist-commie-loving-vegetarian-non-gun-owning-extremist-agitators who constantly plot the downfall of all that is good, proper and fiscally responsible in the world. In our spare time we enjoy reading science Fiction and had a very good discussion about Man Plus in November 2010 ( Sadly very few of us are US voters and so cannot take part but I’m sure I speak for everyone in the group when I wish your letter-writing campaign well.

    Thanks for all the excellent books,

  9. Sevesteen says:

    I\’m not a republican, but I won\’t be sending this letter–we need to do something to control the growth of government. The difference between current Republicans and Democrats is very small–mostly the direction where new expansion will go. Neither party will give up an expansion that the other side has claimed. We are still involved in Bush administration wars while starting fresh bombing campaigns, still have a federal drug war, homeland security and the TSA are still growing unchecked. The Department of Education has a SWAT team.

  10. TedBronson says:

    Mr. Pohl:

    Congratulations on reaching 92 years. I quit reading your work when I was about 13 because it seemed too simple compared to other writers in the genre, but I respect that you are a businessman who has kept selling so many copies for so many years. As a businessman, I wonder how often you look at your profit and loss analysis? Do you do your own taxes? Do you send an extra check to the government every quarter to make sure that you have paid your fair share? Or are you like so many in the community of artists, singers, writers, etc who think that they shouldn’t have to pay extra because your work is so important?

    Do you seriously mean to tell us that you think government intervention in our daily affairs is such a good thing that you want more of it? How about we just ask the government to stop spending our money on things and services we as a people don’t need; let those who have worked, like you, our entire lives to build families and businesses and estates that our kids could inherit, actually keep more of our own money that we will in turn spend and save and grow in the private sector.

    Sir, you are a brilliant businessman, how is it that you don’t see that MORE government spending is not the answer to solve the problems our country is going through?

  11. Anne Onimus Wench says:

    Happy Birthday!

    (I took that pledge thirty years ago, but they don’t have to know that!)

  12. Matthew Platte says:

    That message would fit nicely on a 29-cent postcard and be seen by several more people on its way to the recipient.

  13. Deborah Lazar says:

    Time for the madness to STOP!

  14. Stefan Jones says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Regarding the letters, I’m going to try.

    I also think we should hire someone to steal Grover Norquist’s Ring of Power, because I can’t think of any reason besides black magic that lets that guy wield such influence.

  15. Brian K. says:

    Strange that you think one party is the problem. I appreciate your sentiment, but the change that is needed is for all parties to learn to live within a budget, learn to conserve what you gave and always save some back, even if you are within budget. Save for a rainy day they used to call it.
    I have recently started living on a budget, spending LESS than I make.
    I work in a government office and I see the waste. I try to be efficient as possible and do the best job possible. I try to teach by example thus method to my coworkers. Some pick up on it, while others continue to slack off. They don’t see the handwriting on the wall as we trim budgets, don’t replace workers that retire or switch agencies. We must ALL chg back until times get better. We must stop playing favorites to special interests (banks, big companies, military contract companies, wacko hippie groups). How about we focus on what is good for the 90%.

  16. Jordan says:

    What I would consider a nearly treasonable act is spending our country into oblivion, and putting generations of Americans into debt. What you on the left seem unable to understand-even at the wise age of 92-is that there will be no country if this continues. You want to raise taxes. You honestly think this is the solution? I’ve always thought it smart to not help feed an addict’s habbit. The Democrats, sir, are spending addicts. Give them more of our hard-earned money, and they’ll flush it down the toilet like the trillions they already have since Obama took office.

    And as for the Occupiers: get a freak’n job. Learn some personal responsibility. Do something productive, rather than being a leech on our society.

  17. David Ratnasabapathy says:

    Happy Birthday!

  18. Linda Edgar says:

    Thank you, sir, I am pleased to grant your birthday wish in my own small way. And, thank you for sharing your work with me and anyone else who cares to partake.

  19. LeRoy Pearle says:

    Happy Birthday Fred! (I’d send the letter but I’m Canadian.. hay, maybe I should just global replace Republican with Tory, American with Canadian, and send it on to PM Harper anyway..)

  20. Fyodor F. says:

    Dear Mr Pohl.
    My best congratulation on your birthday! I\\\’d like to say from all of numerous Russian fans of your creation: be healthy and have a lot of years of creative activity!

  21. SM says:

    Its not just an American problem: all across the English-speaking world people with the daft idea that taxes are always bad are respectable because their fellow travellers in the US get treated like sensible people not crazy ideologues. In Canada our federal government is going heavily into debt because it won’t collect enough taxes to pay for the things it wants to buy.

    Decide what you want to spend money on, and the right level of taxes should follow naturally (with a bit of borrowing in hard times and paying down debts in good times).

  22. Eric Wells says:

    Happy Birthday , Mr. Pohl. I\\\’ve read your Heechee writings as a young adult and they have very much sparked my passion for science fiction. Thank you for your work and I wish you many more birthdays to come.

  23. Janus Daniels says:

    2001-2007 Republicans controlled every branch of government, most of the US ‘news’ media, and the Federal Reserve. We got this:
    topped by the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.
    Before that, conceivably, some way to justify voting Republican might have existed.
    No more.
    Voting Republican comes from stupidity, ignorance, delusion, or just plain evil.
    I still have Republican friends who are stupid, ignorant, or delusional.
    I try to help them learn.
    Republican leaders don’t care who votes.
    Republican leaders care who counts votes.

  24. Phoenix says:

    I’m not presently aware of any Republicans who represent/want to represent me (gerrymandering: you have to, uh, love it) but I’ll save this. Because yes.

  25. Steve Boyko says:

    Well, I’m Canadian so I can’t help you there… I would if I could.

    Regardless, happy birthday, Fred.

  26. the blog team says:

    Many happy returns of the day, Fred! It’s been a privilege to help you get the word out.

    Dick & Leah

  27. Bruce Arthurs says:

    It\’s sad to see so many people vomiting up Republican talking points like they were Gospel. Deliberate stupidity is the worst kind.

    Back when I was first employed by the Postal Service, in the late 1970\’s, I had an opportunity to join the leter carriers\’ union… and didn\’t. I didn\’t see that much difference between union and management. Both were badly run; both had people at the top who got their thrill from the power of their positions, not the responsibility; both had issues with corruption.

    But I eventually, about fifteen years later, ended up joining the union. Not because the union had gotten better, but because management had gotten so much worse. Harassment of employees wasn\’t just incidental and occasional anymore; it was deliberate, pervasive and constant. Managers were judged and rewarded by how many employees they could fire, or harass into quitting. (The supervisor who put me into the hospital\’s ICU, and off work for several months, wasn\’t demoted or fired; the week I finally got back to work, management held a little ceremony in from of me and everybody, and gave him a promotion.) So I finally joined the union, because no matter what its problems, the union offered some help, some assistance, some semblance of caring about my life and welfare. The union had my back, mostly, and that never changed; management changed, and after a while the only thing they wanted to do with my back was stick a knife in it.

    I see the same thing with the Democrats and Republicans. Democrats have their problems, but they don\’t frighten me. The current version of Republicans — dominated by delusional extremists and idealogues — scares the crap out of me. And the people who refuse to see what Republicans have become… they scare the crap out of me too.

  28. Jason Block says:

    Hi Fred, happy birthday and thank you for Gateway, The Space Merchants, and many other great books. Dare I say they are ‘complex’? Thanks for being a great and influential editor as well.

    I think any examination of historical evidence shows that the higher and more progressive tax rates of the 40’s through the 70’s work for this country and that the Republican policies of the last thirty years have been a disaster. The party that led us into the Great Depression with those same policies has fooled us yet again and grown all the richer.

    I will be sending that letter and I’ll continue to vote for Democrats and their policies that benefit all Americans, together. Have a great day, Fred, and thanks again.

  29. Al Bogdan says:

    Happy birthday, and many more! And may your wishes come true.

  30. Nestor says:

    Happy Birthday mr. Pohl, not being an american I’m unable to vote for the Republicans but I’ll try to pass the word along to those acquaintances of mine not similarly handicapped :)

  31. Deirdre M. Murphy says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Although I have a long list of things I’m mad at Democrats for, its nowhere near as long or egregious as my list of appalling things the Republicans have done. The idea that it’s wrong to tax the super-rich at the same percentage rate as secretaries, teachers, and firefighters is truly astounding to me. And the idea that it’s OK to destroy our credibility as a nation and our economy to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share–I’m speechless.

    The Republicans have been claiming that if we give tax breaks to the rich the money will trickle down since Reagan, and since Reagan the rich have been getting richer, the poor have become destitute, and the middle class has become poor.

    Thank You for your birthday wish.

    And along with you, I say Thank You to the occupiers! After a long spate of unemployment I have a job again, but I’m with them in spirit.

  32. CaitieCat says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Pohl, may your coming year be light-filled and love-soaked, and may you get so many more as you desire, nor more nor less.

    Can’t send the letter, as I’m not eligible to vote in elections in your country, but we’re with you from outside!

  33. Chris Seeger says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Pohl. What a great way to celebrate your birthday! Keep on helping good things to happen :-)

  34. Rick York says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Pohl. You have a quarter century on me but, I can only hope that 25 years from now I will be as vigorous, smarted and committed as you are.

    As for your letter, done. I’ve been a civic and political volunteer for over 50 years.

    At least one commentator said that there’s no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. Simply reading the comments so far puts paid to that idea.

    For those who think keeping taxes for the wealthy low, I refer you to Einstein’s theory of insanity:

  35. MatthewBarrett says:

    Happy birthday Fred! I am an artist of relatively modest lifestyle living on a peninsula surrounded by some of the wealthiest people in the nation. Every day, I see examples of unrestrained privilege, an encyclopedic sense of entitlement, and a dash of xenophobia. I can see the illusion that the wealthy seek to maintain at the expense of the many, and I’ve never been more perturbed by their agenda than I am now. They’re no more job-creators than is a man who orders another to dig his own grave.

  36. Steven says:

    Happy belated B-day, Freddie, from a long-time fan. My mom gave me an autographed copy each of “The Way the Future Was” and “The Space Merchants” after seeing you give an invited talk at a teacher’s conference back in the 70s. Up until that point, I was a fan of the usual teen-oriented space operas. Took me a couple of years before I could finish Merchants…I was a fan of Reagan before it was cool, to put it in perspective…your vision of America of the future seemed too much like what I was taught (and still believe) the USSR was like, only worse. I still think that we seem to be headed more and more in that direction, so it is your fault for “corrupting” me, or at least making me more aware of bigger trends. Mom is still a fan of Republican politics, I am not. I stopped voting Republican years ago, although the Democrats are only marginally better. As someone said on a call-in radio program in Austin years ago, “It seems as if voting nowadays is less a choice of voting for the lesser of two evils, and more one of voting for the evil of two lessers.” Even more true today.

    Happy 92nd. I’d wish you 92 more, but that might be pushing it a bit…:-).

    Steven R.

  37. Owl says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Pohl.

    However, I will not take your pledge. It strikes me as noxious and overly simplistic, at best. Do you really thnk that it would be good for our country to encourage a new generation of “Yellow Dog Democrats”?

    I’ve known good and bad people who were politicians for both major political parties and several minor parties. Surely you remember the politicians that you fulminated against on occasion in New Jersey thirty years ago? If memory serves, your part of Monmouth County was largely controlled by the Democrats, who completely ran the machine in the area where I lived in Middlesex County. In our town, if you weren’t registered as a Democrat, they were very blunt about what you needed to do if you wanted to get a building inspected, etc. The Democrats were hugely corrupt.

    I think that your friend Bob Heinlein had it right when he said (paraphrasing) that although in any election there might not be anyone to vote for, there was always someone to vote against. Where I now live, the people to vote against are often Democrats.

    Alas, “none of the above” is not an option.

  38. Russ says:

    Happy Birthday Sir.

    And thank you for your books, this wonderful site
    and the history within.

    Since Senators Kay and John are not concerned with my
    vote, I am actually tempted to send letters of support
    to their opposition to keep up the morale.

  39. Jim Worrad says:

    Happy Birthday Fred! Sorry about the Fox-watching nimrods posting here. Your plan’s great!

  40. James Van Hise says:

    The so-called debt our country is in is nothing new and is no more a threat to our future than it ever was. During the Reagan administration the President raised the debt limit 7 times in 8 years and the Republican party considers Reagan their hero. The only reason they made an issue of it this year and fought it (for the first time in the nation’s history) was to cripple what the Obama administration is trying to accomplish. Once the Republicans gain the presidency again they’ll spend just as freely as they did under George Bush where two wars were paid for entirely off-budget. Obama put the war spending back into the official budget which is why we suddenly can’t balance it because that spending isn’t hidden any more. The Republicans hate anything the Goverment does which works, like Social Security which has a 2 trillian dollar surplus and hasn’t missed a payment to Americans in more than 70 years.

  41. sffgeek says:

    Dear Mr Pohl

    A very happy birthday!

    As a UK resident, I’m afraid I can’t do much about your letter.

    But I’ve been an SF reader since the 50’s, and you have always been one of the Big Names for me. I just wanted to say thank you!

  42. JohnArmstrong says:

    Happy belated birthday Fred – hope you had a fine time
    I’m also Canadian but have reposted this to Facebook for all my Yanqui friends to pass on
    Vive le etheric revolution

  43. Steven says:

    Apparently my belated message did not go through yesterday, probably since I used a different email, so I will try again today.

    I’ve been a fan for many years, ever since my mom got me autographed copies of Space Merchants and The Way the Future Was. Took a while to finish Merchants since the vision of America’s future presented was tough for a young conservative in 1970s America to stomach (it seemed too much like the Soviet Union). I finally did years later, after I was beginning to wake up, but it still depressed me, because I could then see a potential future brought on by a slavish devotion to consumer capitalism which has become politically correct nowadays.

    My Mom is still a conservative Republican (I’ve tried to enlighten her, to no avail), but I have not voted Republican in any elections since the Reagan era. I am not a big fan of the Democrats either, but have decided to vote for the “lesser of two evils” although sometimes it seems more a question of voting for “the evil of two lessers” a statement I heard on a local Austin call-in show (that featured Kathy Cronkite, no less!) years ago.

    Happy birthday, Fred. I have enjoyed your novels for over 30 years, and hope to keep reading new ones for years to come…or at least as long as you care to keep writing and/or dictating them…:-)

  44. Jay Borcherding says:

    I hope you had a happy birthday!

    I have not voted for a Republican candidate since 2000. While I’ve always been a registered Democrat, I would occasionally stray from straight-line voting, but since the post-9/11 excesses of the Bush administration, that has not been the case. And this saddens me–just on a philosophical basis, I think it is preferable for my vote to be at least hypothetically open to persuasive evidence from the other major party.

    But the Republican Party has simply gotten too crazy and too beholden to the greedy to be worthy of serious consideration. Part of it is their tax policy, which is far too biased toward the wealthy and the powerful. Nearly as offensive to me is their anti-science and pro-religion rhetoric and policies, their exploitation of base emotions like fear and anger (be it toward immigrants, gays, government, the secular, etc.), and their consistent siding with already-powerful interests (be it billionaires or oil companies or health insurers or banks).

  45. Julia S. says:

    Happy birthday, Mr. Pohl, and many happy returns of the day. Your letter certainly gives me food for thought, and I’ll be sending my own take on it to the relevant folks.

  46. James Rosse says:

    Happy Birthday.

    Dear former Republican friend:

    This letter is to let you know that your Party’s tactics of destroying the ability of our government to function by means of your no-tax increase-pledge is too recklessly destructive a threat to be taken, even by fanatics.

    Accordingly, I now pledge that I, the undersigned, will never again vote for any Republican candidate for any elective office in America until the Republican Party abandons this perilous, un-American and very nearly treasonable action.

    I am your constituent, not Grover Norquist. I am an employed, educated, responsible person. I’ve been decorated for valor by my county and FASNY. Sticking it to the little guy to make sure that Oil Companies get bonuses and Wall St. Executives make more in bonuses than I make in 10 years is what you’re supposed to be protecting me from.

    –Jim R

  47. Lars says:

    Happy Birthday, Fred! Wish that there were more like you.

  48. John McMullen says:

    Happy birthday, Mr. Pohl! May you have more, and may you enjoy them.

    I can’t send the letter, either, not being American.

    But I appreciate the sentiment: the stance by the Republican party seems to me, an outsider, to be bad not because it’s a spending vs. taxes thing–I agree that you have to get your fiscal house in order–but because it quashes compromise. It seems to me that compromise is necessary for the work of the people to move forward, and when one group states that they will not budge, it only forces the other group to be immobile–and then nothing happens.

    (Would the webmaster please delete or hide this comment if it will generate more heat than light among the readership.)

  49. Tim says:

    Mr. Pohl
    Your letter is your letter is hysterical. Not hysterically funny or hysterically sad. Just hysterical. When Rick Perry described Ben Bernanke’s actions as un-American and perhaps treasonous. He was lambasted and laughed at by Democrats and the left commentariat.
    Those same Democrats cried like a bunch of babies, accusing Republicans of calling them un-American because the Republicans objected to Democratic criticism of President Bush. Of course, no responsible Republican ever did that.
    The United States is now in debt to the tune of 15 Trillion dollars. And you think Republicans are un-American because we think that’s quite enough spending. Plus, we can actually do the math and even by confiscating all the money the 1% has earned won’t make a dent in the debt and it won’t make the poor and down trodden any less poor and downtrodden.

    I do wish you a Happy Birthday.

  50. Steve says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr Pohl.

    Although I often find fault with Democrats, the Republicans are almost always on the wrong side of issues.

    -Steve, Seattle

    As for those who have written to try to pin the “tax and spend” label on the Democrats, it’s simply not true any more, and hasn’t been that way since the Clinton administration. Today, the Democrats are the party of moderation, and the Republicans are the party of “borrow and spend”, corporate welfare, and trying to cripple the economy just so they can blame the disaster on the President.

  51. H. E. Parmer says:

    Happy Birthday, Fred! I don’t know if I could choose a favorite writer, but you’ve certainly written some of my favorite sf.

    I quit reading your work when I was about 13 because it seemed too simple compared to other writers in the genre …

    I’ll bet twenty dollars that by “other writers in the genre” the commentor means “Ayn Rand”. Yeesh. What a condescending little yutz.

    What I would consider a nearly treasonable act is spending our country into oblivion, and putting generations of Americans into debt.

    What traitor was it who said “Deficits don’t matter”? Over the last 30 years, which traitorous party ran up the national debt like a meth addict with a stolen credit card, every time they got hold of the Presidency? Which traitor took the surplus left by the previous (Democratic) president and blew a great, gaping hole in it with runaway military spending, two wars paid for on credit, a giveaway to Big Pharma, and massive tax breaks for the wealthy?

    Could they all be … Republicans?

    You’ll have to pardon me if I suspect that — like the rest of the deficit hawks who’ve come crawling out of the woodwork over the last few years — your angst over the national debt is conditional on a Democrat occupying the White House.

    Funny, though, how most of the deficit contributing to that debt you’re agonizing over would disappear if Congress simply allowed the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. Oh, but that would return us to the crushing, confiscatory tax rates which made the Clinton years so economically hellish, and we mustn’t have that, right?

    And don’t think I let the conserva-Dems off the hook for their enabling of this nonsense. But there has to be a distinction made between the people who consistently push bad ideas and the people who go along with them.

    Personally, I despise the fact that right now the choice is between two parties, one of them certifiably bark-at-the-moon bug-f*ck crazy, and the other desperately trying to recast themselves as Republican Lite: “All the same slavishly pro-corporate policies, without that embarassing racism and snake-handling religious cultism!”

    Still, you’ve got to have priorities. I’ll print this letter and send copies to my two Republican senators, precisely because the no-tax pledge is a piece of grandstanding which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt (as if more proof were needed) that their party doesn’t give a damn about the debt, and would willingly wreck the country for political advantage.

  52. Sally Mayer says:

    Happy Birthday to you, one of my favorite authors! For my 55th birthday in October, I requested to have no presents, but instead charged all of my well-wishers to restore control of the United States to its rightful owners: We the People. I too have been appalled at the Far Right’s attempts to turn the USA into the Fourth Reich and to slowly erode our Constitutional freedoms with fear-mongering laws. Our troops, some of whom belong to my extended family, are not putting their lives on the line for Tea Party toadies to come barging unwelcome into Congress funded by Koch Money and the encouraged by the outrageous People United law and out of fear turning our country from a free democracy dominated by laws to an oligarchical dictatorship ruled by the 1% rich and powerful corporate minority. At conventions I have tried to run panels about fans working in the real world to bring about a free, science-oritented, enlightened, and progressive future by incorporating their ideals into real-life action like lobbying their representatives for improved transportation, space program, etc., voting, getting out the vote, working for campaigns, etc. and have actually been banned by the Far Right Nazis running conventions from running what they call “subversive” programming. Meanwhile these toadies of the Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers) lobby run tons of panels about “making sure Obama doesn’t take away our guns,” stopping all this expensive “pork” such as building better public transportation and updating our sorry infrastructures, and praising the many “benefits” of transforming America into an oligarchical empire with methods that smack strongly of Hitler’s Enabling Acts in the 1930s at the beginning of his reign of terror. Of all places, one would expect those in fandom to want to build an enlightened and progressive future. Clearly the foggy thinking and hate- and fear-mongering tslking heads that have misled many Americans to throw away 230+ years of enlightened political progress have infiltrated fandom too. Thank you for being a beacon of reason in the fannish community amidst all of this peculiar thinking. I wish you many more years of the same!

  53. Ken says:

    Hope you had a great birthday Fred!

    Any moron who would sign a no taxes ever pledge is deluded and dangerous and certainly not fit for public office.

    If I were mega-rich (and a jerk) I might vote Republican. What I can’t understand is why a good portion of the poorest, most vulnerable people in our country continue to vote Republican. Are they really that stupid? The GOP doesn’t even try to hide the fact that they are only for the richest 1 percent and at war with everyone else. Truly a head scratcher to me.

  54. Ann Tonsor Zeddies says:

    Dear Fred, a belated very happy birthday greeting to you! Your letter was a gift to me. It made me laugh, because I had taken my own pledge in very much the same words, not too long ago. I think mine had a little more profanity in it.

    When you first met me, I was a church-going Catholic and (sob) Republican. I’m happy to say I snapped out of my death trance in time to campaign and cast my vote for America’s first black president. I don’t know if I can ever make up for the harm I did by voting Republican in the past, but I intend to do my best to make reparations by spending the rest of my life as a feminist, socialist, left-wing crank of the highest magnitude I can attain. We recently marched with Wobblies in our new hometown, in a mock funeral for the middle class. I’ll send this letter to my local Republican representative, who has already heard from me about his voting behavior.

    You and Elizabeth Anne are a continuing inspiration to me. I hope I reach 92 still giving ’em hell–in the most cordial and reasoned fashion, like you. I’ve been lurking at this place with pleasure, and was moved to utter my first comment by this auspicious occasion. Many happy returns of the day!

    Ann Tonsor Zeddies

  55. willow says:

    A late Happy Birthday to you & may you have many more! :)

  56. Ron Berman says:

    Happy Birthday Fred:
    Over the years I have had great enjoyment from your many stories and novels.

    IMO, Grover Norquist and his pledge power are only a symptom of the real problem:– Money is driving politics. We have to get money out of politics by 1 – Public funding of elections and a shortened campaign duration. No private donations. Funding does not commence until the designated campaign period starts. 2 – Eliminate corporate personhood thus disallowing the infusion of vast amounts of funds into campaign warchests.

    The above will essentially, end legalized bribery of elected officials…which is what we have now.

    As it is now both republicans and democrats take this money and are beholden to corporate agendas like that of Grover Norquist. And that\\\’s why democrats have lost their spine; Including the president.

    Right not we do not have a democratic republic. We have plutocracy. To get back representative government we need to get money out of politics.

    It will be long and hard, like climbing Everest. But it can be done.