Weekly Letter to the President
Copyright © 2017
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
March 12, 2021
Mr. President: At a time when Covid is destroying lives through job loss, financial
hardship, and in the worst case through the deaths of loved ones, we have had the
spectacle this week of Meghan Markle now the Duchess of Sussex being interviewed
by Oprah Winfrey -- a multimillionaire talking to a billionaire who is a neighbor in this
exclusive neighborhood of the super rich. And so, comfortably ensconced in a
palatial estate in Montecito, she sprays the royal family with scattershot.
She complains that their security detail (paid for by the public purse) was taken away
when she is aware that it is provided only to royals who have not removed themselves
from royal duties. An example of those who have are the children of Princess Anne
who do not get, or expect, security ... and there are others.
She complains that she experienced racism at the palace. How was that? According
to her account, one of the senior royals discussed the color of the baby she was
expecting. One wonders how many people have speculated innocently about eye
color or hair or size and weight -- the bigger and heavier they are the more difficult it
is for the mother to deliver them. In her case, yes, skin color also could invite
Mortally troubled and depressed, Meghan begins to think life is not worth living. So
she tells Oprah and the world. Prince Harry sitting beside her says nothing. She
goes on to say she called the human resources department who said they only
served the staff. So, she informs Oprah, she was on her own. Not even a phone to
call a doctor?
What human resources is to Buckingham Palace, a butler is to a smaller household
with, say, a half-dozen staff. Who in need of psychiatric help would go to their
butler? Many sources assess the net worth of Harry and Meghan in the tens of
millions. With that amount of money, surely, calling a psychiatrist was not beyond the
wit of our two prisoners of the palace. It was. For according to her tale the two held
each other close for solace. Any regular husband would have picked up a phone and
asked the palace doctor for a referral.
If the stories beggar belief, their lack of detail and general vagueness precludes
checking. So they hang there smearing Harry's family -- something to which the new
Harry has no objection.
Meghan herself is estranged from her father, her father's family, and according to him
also from her mother's family though not her mother. Now she is proceeding in the
same direction with Harry's family. One instance of alienation might not be the
individual's fault; two might be carelessness; but three and now a possible fourth
warrants the observation that the common denominator is the individual.
She informs us that her son Archie was not made a Prince but omits to mention the
King George V Letter of Patent (edict) going back over a hundred years to 1917 that
restricts the title to the direct line of succession for the children of the monarch's
grandchildren. No doubt she was told so when she first complained about it. Then
she adds she doesn't care much for titles but she wanted security to be provided for
Archie. Yet the pair are worth about $40 million as Harry inherited both from his
mother and his great grandmother (the Queen's mother) and Meghan had her own
fortune as an established actress -- a vocation that has undoubtedly helped -- plus a
deal with Netflix now worth $100 million. That much money and they are unwilling to
buy security protection for their child!
All this personal angst at a time when Harry's 94-year-old Granny, who still has to
deal with government papers, is also coping with a seriously ill consort who at the age
of 99 has had a heart procedure placing two stents in arteries to improve blood flow
to the heart. But this self-absorbed couple had not a word to say on the subject, or
even how his father Charles might appreciate a few words of sympathy. Some might
say empathy and self-absorption are not correlates.
Harry is a guy who has been on the public payroll most of his life until very recently,
when he and his wife declined royal duties and left the country. If duty is expected of
the royals, it might explain the poll ratings. Fully 58 percent of the British people have
an unfavorable opinion of Meghan -- the figure is 48 percent for Harry. Astounding
figures, these, for royals. By contrast Prince William and Kate Middleton are around
The British public does not like hypocrisy such as jetting around the world in private
jets (why not a commercial flight?) as in flying to New York from London for a baby
shower or to the Balearic Islands for a holiday weekend while preaching about climate
change. And then there is The Times story that Meghan bullies her staff many of
whom are still traumatized a year after leaving their posts according to the reporter,