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 8, 2015
Mr. President: The British election results are in. The electorate voted out the
hypocrites. The Liberal Democrats had 57 seats; they now have 8. Perhaps the
most humiliating defeat of any party. When exit polls were predicting only 10 seats,
founder Lord Paddy Ashdown scoffed at the polls on live TV, and in a show of
bravado promised to eat his hat if it came true. He has not been heard from. Party
leader Nick Clegg has resigned. When David Cameron's Conservatives were forced
to form a coalition after the last election to secure a workable majority in Parliament,
Nick Clegg's Lib Dems sacrificed almost all their principles to join, claiming they were
putting country ahead of their platform. An unusual argument if you believe your
platform is best for the country. The Conservatives have now gained 24 seats for an
overall majority, a result no one had expected. But then hypocrisy fuels anger.
In North Carolina, the TPP agreement is being supported by the arch-conservative
Republican members and opposed by the state's Democrats. Does it reveal
something about the TPP?
The death of Freddie Gray whose only crime was to try to run away from the police --
and who wouldn't be afraid of a police that saw fit to break a grandmother's bones in
an earlier incident -- has finally brought media attention and a Federal investigation to
West Baltimore. But what is the real cause of the terrible blight there with conditions
worse than developing countries? In one word, NAFTA. It too, like TPP today was
sold as a panacea for jobs in an expanded trade region; instead jobs have flown out
of the country. Corporations chose to install plants near the border in Mexico to take
advantage of lower wages, lack of worker rights, and little or no environmental
This week the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against
NSA surveillance involving the bulk collection of meta data. It found such mass
snooping beyond the scope of the law. So what's next? Is it back to the drawing
boards in Congress, or is the public going to be left with a small measure of privacy.
The notorious Islamophobe Pam Geller, a right winger and ardent Zionist, who
believes in provoking Islamists and stoking hatred under the guise of free speech,
organized an event in Garland, Texas. It featured a prize contest, drawing cartoons
of the Prophet Mohammad. No one has reported the results for there was a shooting
outside injuring a security guard and leaving two men dead. No significant comment
from the White House, and Ms Geller has no regrets. Why Garland, Texas? It was
targeted for having good citizens, open-minded enough to allow a conference at the
same venue illuminating and explaining Islam, in an outreach effort a couple of
All of which serves as a reminder of Polonius' advice to Laertes, "This above all: to
thine own self be true."