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 22, 2012
Mr. President: As the economy continues to tread water, weakening with time, the
sharks are beginning to gather. The Dow lost another 250 points as the U.S. Labor
Dept. yet again announced sluggish job figures. Meanwhile, output is starting to
decline in major economic drivers, China and Germany, feeding uncertainty. And the
banks having gorged trillions at the public trough without any fetters continue to
mostly gamble in securities instead of the cumbersome business of (job creating)
commercial lending and investment.
The hopeful who supported you, Sir, in 2008 are becoming hope-less. A few more
elected democrats announced this week they will not attend the Democratic
convention, afraid of the associative effect on their own election campaigns. A former
professor of yours at Harvard Law School, Roberto Unger, who was one of your
supporters with frequent email contact four years ago, now says, "President Obama
must be defeated [because] he has failed to advance the progressive cause in the
United States;" so writes journalist Russell Mokhiber. Unger's reasoning: a political
reversal is needed to restore a critical democratic voice, and the risk of "military
adventurism" is no greater in the alternative. And Mr. Unger is far from an extreme
left wing critic of the type who have written withering pieces about this administration
for some time.
From the right, Paul Craig Roberts, an eminent economist, journalist, author, deplores
the erosion of speech and civil liberties under the guise of security in both the Obama
and Bush administrations.
What a mess ... it is not much of a choice when one candidate runs on nonexistent
"hope" and "change" or being the lesser of two evils, whilst the other offers jingoism,
bellicosity, and failed economics. Sadly, the glass, for far too many in this country, is
more than half empty while a few have it full to overflowing. It seems likely to remain
The concept of unchecked insatiability for some (above) has now been endorsed for
all at the Rio+20 Summit. One of the seven deadly sins is now officially a goal for us
all. The 'sustainability' term developed in 1992, as George Monbiot points out in The
Guardian today, morphed into 'sustainable development', then became 'sustainable
growth'; now, in the new declaration, it has "mutated once more into 'sustained
growth'." Also, the U.S. delegation was responsible for deleting 'unsustainable
consumption'. That, on a finite planet, is acceptable to this administration.
Going backwards in time, ideas, and thought on the most important issues have
become a hallmark of the last two Democratic presidencies -- the environment, care
for the most vulnerable among us, regulations like Glass-Steagall bringing order into
financial markets, restraint in the futile use of military power -- readers can add to the
list of failures and surrenders to special interests.