Weekly Letter to the President
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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 29, 2019 (posted April 1)
Mr. President: When Michael Cohen, fixer for Donald Trump, payoff-artist and
jailbird-to-be, who starts 3-year prison sentence on May 6, branded his former boss a
liar and cheat who ran for president not to help the country but enhance the
Trump-brand, was he wrong? How many of Trump associates are in jail, going to jail
or indicted, i.e. scumbags, albeit rich scumbags?
He has been entertaining at the White House his friend Benjamin Netanyahu, now the
first Israeli prime minister about to be indicted for corruption. Mr. Netanyahu claims
it's a political witch hunt, yet the attorney-general preparing the indictment was
appointed by him.
Mr. Trump has legitimized Israeli occupation of Syria's Golan Heights by accepting its
annexation, deeming it necessary for Israel's security. It is a present for Netanyahu
prior to the Israeli election and some might go as far as to say it is interference. But
the 'liar and cheat' label affixed by Michael Cohen sticks. The property is not Mr.
Trump's to accede to and saying so does not make it so. The action violates
international law, UN principles and threatens UN Resolution 242 and the 'land for
So there we are: Michael Cohen's 'liar and cheat' crony offers another to-be-indicted
crony something he does not own or have the right to offer. All of which makes little
difference to their conspiracy-leaning and fake-news enthusiast base of support.
Trump has just to say, 'It's fake news'. Netanyahu says, 'Its a witch hunt'. And their
crowds cheer them on.
And all Modi has to do is mouth propaganda -- even though he got a military slap in
the face in response to his latest show of force -- and his crowds roar their applause.
If we measure civilization by the manner in which it treats the weak, the defenseless,
the outnumbered, then what can one say about Mr. Netanyahu's Jewish state or Mr.
Modi's Hindu nationalism, both attempts to nullify minorities.
And what can one say to a US Congress that stands up in unison to applaud the
same Benjamin Netanyahu three dozen times during the course of a speech. There
was a time when statesmen of the caliber of Winston Churchill were given the
privilege of addressing Congress, but times have changed.
The current UK parliament could not have been imagined by Churchill. As late as
2008, the leaders of the main parties David Cameron (Tory), David Miliband (Labor)
and Nick Clegg (Liberal) might have differed on domestic politics but shared a similar
world view, including the EU. Not any more. Parliament is fractured. Eight different
forms of Brexit were voted upon and none could muster a majority. Theresa May's
plan has been voted down twice. An exercise in incompetence, they are now voting
on a deal covering only Northern Ireland merely to gain more time from the EU.
When the Brexit referendum was held, only England (though not the prosperous
Greater London and the southeast) voted to leave; Scotland and Northern Ireland
voted to remain in the EU. Theresa May repeatedly brings up the 17.4 million 'leave'
voters. Hardly candid because what about the rest? As of December 2016, the
voting population of the UK was 45.7 million.
Most farcical of all, Theresa May even promised to step down if they voted for her
deal. In the normal course of events, leaders' offers to step down are intended as a
threat not a boon. Maybe she thought she could snag a few more votes from the
jumble of her Tory colleagues after her job.
Is there a Winston Churchill among them? Not even close.