Weekly Letter to the President
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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
April 19, 2019 (posted April 25, 2019)

Mr. President:  Chivalry and knights errant long past, Donald Trump has brought forth
the dawn of a new age, the grab-em-by-the-p----  and bully 'em era.  Juxtaposing
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar with the burning buildings of 9/11 has had a not
unexpected result:  death threats.

Although the Donald's primitive advances have an equivalent female response
frowned upon in Deuteronomy (Ch 25, v.11), and Ilhan Omar is quite capable of
giving as good as she gets verbally, nobody can defend against a right-wing
extremist, lapping every word Trump spits out, who takes it upon himself to 'defend'
his country at Omar's expense.

Trump's behavior is at the least irresponsible, lacking in the courtesy and gravitas
appropriate to his position, and at worst demeaning to his office.  All of which matters
little to this man whose narcissistic world centers around himself and apparently his

We have the famous son-in-law and Middle East 'expert' with a doubtful security
clearance ...  approved at the behest of his father-in-law.  He can be relied upon to
produce a peace plan that is dead on arrival.  Then there is his wife, the presidential
daughter, a master of all trades.

This week we have learned she was offered the top job at the World Bank.  Not for
her any knowledge of economics, or banking, or an executive background in
engineering or industry, or country development experience.  None of that matters.  A
top job becomes simply a matter of yea or nay to proposals put forward by
assistants.  Informed judgement?

According to her father, she is a natural diplomat.  Diplomacy inculcated on the knee
of her father no doubt.  Or was it simply a consequence of living and dealing with
him.  As it turns out, the President considered her for the post of Ambassador to the
UN; again no need for any foreign policy experience, or a background in politics as
preparation for that den of intrigue.  All that's for lesser mortals, although we can
imagine her in any kind of negotiation with the Chinese, Russian or any other old
salts.  But then of course she'd be armed with 'The Art of the Deal' supposedly
authored by her father but actually penned by a ghost writer who subsequently had
twinges of conscience.

He is not the only one with second thoughts.  Trump's first Secretary of State, Rex
Tillerson, is reputed to have privately called him 'a f***king moron'.  In public he
described him in more refined but less pithy fashion.  He said it was difficult to work for
someone "who is pretty undisciplined, doesn't like to read, doesn't read briefing
reports ... just kind of says, 'This is what I believe.'"  The frightening thing about all
this is that we have him occupying the highest office in the land: when one doesn't
read, one cannot make informed judgments; when one doesn't read, just beliefs
(biases) remain, and decisions are rendered thereof.

Trump's response was to call Tillerson "lazy as hell".  One doesn't get to be CEO of a
company like Exxon Mobil and remain in that position for eleven years by being 'lazy
as hell."  In the same tweet Trump lavished praise on Mike Pompeo, the then new
Secretary of State and the nation's top diplomat.

There must be something less than diplomatic now in Pompeo's dealings with North
Korea as Kim Jong Un its leader now refuses to talk to him.  He has asked that he be
replaced with a more 'mature' envoy.  The country has also tested a new 'tactical
guided weapon'.  Is that back to square one for the Trump/Kim bromance?