Weekly Letter to President Obama
Copyright © 2010
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
May 6, 2016
Mr. President: Donald Trump inflicted a crushing defeat on his Republican rivals in
the Indiana primary taking away all 57 delegates. They have withdrawn from the field
leaving Mr. Trump the presumptive nominee, barring rule changes or other
shenanigans. The establishment still refuses to support him: the two Bushes, Mitt
Romney, the GOP candidate in 2012, and his running mate, now Speaker of the
House, Paul Ryan have refused to endorse him. So there it stands.
In a head to head against Hillary Clinton, Trump has always been behind by up to 10
points ... except a new poll shows him with a slight lead and he has barely started his
attack. Crooked Hillary is becoming a favorite phrase and aside from dubious
activities, she still has not explained how she managed to convert $1000 into
$100,000 in a year's commodity trading -- an enterprise so risky over 80 percent of
naive traders lose their investment -- and then, given such phenomenal skill, why did
she stop when their family income at the time was less than half her gain. To put it
into perspective, her trading performance was like being hit by lightning ... several
times over the course of a year.
On the democratic side, Bernie Sanders had another come-from-behind victory.
Remarkable party the Democrats, with remarkable rules: Bernie keeps winning state
after state and Hillary's lead in delegates gets wider. They should try and get similar
rules for the election in November. Life would have been so much more fun for
writers and commentators with a Palin vice-presidency and "hope and change" would
not now be "hopeless and immutable." The Libyan people would not have been
devastated or their country destroyed and Syria would still be held together, as
Democrats in opposition would have opposed any such Republican moves. Looking
at the historical record, it is amazing how Democrats have started almost every war
and Republicans have concluded them. Of course, the messianic George Bush
having re-discovered Christianity as a cure for his bacchanalian dispositions was an
Sadiq Khan is headed to be the next Mayor of London. He joins Ahmed Aboutaleb,
the Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam, the largest cargo port in Europe, to become
the second Muslim to be elected mayor of a major European city. Born in Tooting,
South London, his father migrated from Pakistan, shortly before Sadiq was born in
1970. His grandparents migrated from India to Pakistan in the cataclysm of India's
partition in 1947.
Now here is a fact many may not know. His Conservative opponent Zac Goldsmith's
sister Jemima Khan was long married to Imran Khan, the famous Pakistan cricketer
and now prominent politician. So both candidates have Pakistani connections. Zac is
an environmentalist, a green, and while religion has been used in a tough-fought
election, he is far from a racist.
Sadiq Khan has been the Labour MP for Tooting since May 2005 and will no doubt
relinquish his seat on assuming office as Mayor. He was the Minister of State for
Communities and then Transport Minister, appointed to both positions by Prime
Minister Gordon Brown.
Sadiq Khan has talked about having multiple identities that coexist -- as is true for
most of us. He is quoted as saying, "I am a Londoner, I am European, I am British, I
am English, I am of Islamic faith, of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage, a dad, a
husband." Needless to say, his grandfather left the place of his ancestry in
present-day India to migrate to Pakistan. Ancestry and heritage is a complicated
business it seems, and nation-states a relatively recent historical phenomenon.
So hooray for the tolerance of Londoners, and a definite boo for the overt racism of
the right-wing Drudge Report with the giant headline: KHAN OF LONDONISTAN:
FIRST MUSLIM MAYOR OF WESTERN CAPITAL.