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
June 12, 2015
Mr. President: Each year a robin returns to build a nest on the same bend in a
downspout under the eaves. This year she suffered a misfortune. The winding
clematis usually shielding her nest had been pruned short and took a while to grow
back, and we all know what happens to an exposed nest. She lost her two beautiful
blue eggs and the nest itself was damaged.
It's a solid piece of work, a robin's nest, beautifully constructed basket weave in a
shallow, cylindrical shape -- firm, robust surround and base, yet cushioned inside.
Despite the tragedy, our little robin, undaunted, set about repairing the nest and
before long had a new tenant, another lovely blue egg, just one this time, so more
comfortably accommodated. What a persevering bird! The egg has hatched, the
chick grows visibly each day, and if one approaches, opens its beak wide, ready to be
fed. Soon it will fledge; I am confident for the clematis has now grown around the nest
camouflaging it perfectly. One can only admire the little robin's perseverance and
root for her success.
It reminded me of the PBS documentary on the Roosevelts, particularly the episode
on Franklin D., his remarkable perseverance despite intense opposition: from
Congress, the economically powerful, even the Supreme Court. He proceeded to
give us social security (still the mainstay of a majority of the elderly) bank legislation
to protect us from the ravages of avaricious bank speculation, and a host of other
measures leading to a doubling of personal income in his first four years. What have
his democrat successors done?
Bill Clinton effectively cut social security by basing its cost of living adjustments on a
new abstraction, quite separate from the inflation reality the elderly face.
Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall, the law proscribing speculation by commercial
banks. These are facts, as are the following: Bill Clinton has made well over $100
million dollars since he left office. The speaking fee sideline has mushroomed, for in
the last year alone the Clintons together earned $25 million dollars. Because the
American public has a short attention span, Hillary wanted this one out and dealt with
at the outset.
Of course any thinking person believes implicitly and firmly in banks and the financial
industry as bastions of charity for past and prospective presidents. Why would they
otherwise lavish such largesse?
So as we talk about inequality in the dying embers of one democratic presidential
term and the lighted tinder of perhaps another, what hope for real change? This
observer for one has a sincere belief in the tooth fairy.