Fact Check

Jim Hill's Letter to Barbara Boxer

Letter chides Senator Barbara Boxer for asking a general to address her as 'Senator'?

Published Aug 10, 2009

Claim:   Letter chides Senator Barbara Boxer for asking a general to address her as "Senator."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2009]

Many of us witnessed the arrogance of Barbara Boxer as she admonished a brigadier general because he addressed her as "ma'am" and not "Senator" before a Senate hearing. This letter is from a National Guard aviator and Captain for Alaska Airlines. I wonder what he would have said if he were really angry. Long fly Alaska !!!!!


You were so right on when you scolded the general on TV for using the term, "ma'am," instead of "Senator". After all, in the military, "ma'am" is a term of respect when addressing a female of superior rank or position. The general was totally wrong.. You are not a person of superior rank or position. You are a member of one of the world's most corrupt organizations, the U.S. Senate, equalled only by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congress is a cesspool of liars, thieves, inside traders, traitors, drunks (one who killed a staffer, yet is still revered [Remember Mary Jo]), criminals, and other low level swine who, as individuals (not all, but many), will do anything to enhance their lives, fortunes and power, all at the expense of the People of the United States and its Constitution, in order to be continually re-elected. Many democrats even want American troops killed by releasing photographs. How many of you could honestly say, "We pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor"? None? One? Two? Your reaction to the general shows several things. First is your abysmal ignorance of all things military. Your treatment of the general shows you to be an elitist of the worst kind. When the general entered the military (as most of us who served) he wrote the government a blank check, offering his life to protect your derriere, now safely and comfortably ensconced in a 20 thousand dollar leather

chair, paid for by the general's taxes. You repaid him for this by humiliating him in front of millions.

Second is your puerile character, lack of sophistication, and arrogance which borders on the hubristic. This display of brattish behavior shows you to be a virago, termagant, harridan, nag, scold or shrew, unfit for your position, regardless of the support of the unwashed, uneducated masses who have made California into the laughing stock of the nation.

What I am writing, Senator, are the same thoughts countless millions of Americans have toward Congress, but who lack the energy, ability or time to convey them. Under the democrats, some don't even have the 44 cents to buy the stamp. Regardless of their thoughts, most realize that politicians are pretty much the same, and will vote for the one who will bring home the most bacon, even if they do consider how corrupt that person is. Lord Acton (1834 - 1902) so aptly charged, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Unbeknownst to you and your colleagues, "Mr. Power" has had his way with all of you, and we are all the worse for it.

Finally Senator, I, too, have a title. It is "Right Wing Extremist Potential Terrorist Threat." It is not of my choosing, but was given to me by your Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. And you were offended by "ma'am"?

Have a fine day. Cheers!

Jim Hill

South Hill, WA 98374


Origins:   In June 2009, Brigadier General Michael Walsh testified before the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer of California. As General Walsh was answering questions about New Orleans' levee system, Senator Boxer interrupted him mid-sentence to request that he address her as "Senator" rather than "Ma'am":

This exchange touched off a partisan political brouhaha, with one side maintaining that the incident was merely an appropriately polite interjection by Senator Boxer requesting that she be addressed as she preferred, and the other side maintaining that it was a rude and disrespectful mid-sentence interruption of a general who had already been exhibiting due deference by addressing her as "ma'am."

The above-reproduced letter, which takes the latter tack and chides Senator Boxer for her action, has been circulated in versions attributing it to several different names, with the most common variant concluding with the mailing address of one Jim Hill of South Hill, Washington. Mr. Hill told us that he did indeed write and send it:

With respect to the letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, I am in fact the author of it.

The only thing I received [from Senator Boxer's office in response to my correspondence] was a "form letter," or at least it seemed to be, that stated that since it was determined that I was not a constituent of the Senator's, that the letter would not be shown to her. I felt that to be a little bit blunt, but not all together out of place. I thought no more of it until about two weeks later when I received an email from a friend and fellow airline pilot asking me if I had indeed written the original letter. He attached the email which he had received that contained my letter.

I have received hundreds of letters addressed per the copy of the letter circulating over the internet. It would seem that someone within the Senator's office either forwarded a copy of the typed letter to a friend, or posted it on the internet. The letters that I have received have come from all over the country, and from persons from all walks of life. I have only received one negative letter to date.

Last updated:   29 December 2009

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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