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
July 29, 2016 (posted August 1, 2016)
Mr. President: It was the lull between conventions and then a bomb was dropped by
Wikileaks. Who would have known the first day of the Democratic gathering would be
the scene of such chaos? The 20,000-odd leaked emails between Democratic
National Committee (DNC) officials made a mockery of their pretense of neutrality,
and confirmed what Bernie Sanders had been saying for months. Worse, the DNC
members were not just actively supporting Hillary Clinton's campaign but were
devising ways of destroying the Sanders campaign, including how to capitalize on
On opening day, the DNC and convention chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was
booed repeatedly by justifiably outraged Sanders' supporters. Every time Hillary's
name was uttered, it too was met with loud boos. By evening Schultz was gone,
resigned from her roles, although Hillary still made her Honorary Chair of her
Ever the good soldier, Bernie Sanders was gracious in defeat and tried hard to mollify
his supporters. The convention beavers were also busy so that by evening the place
had settled down for the most part. Soon the ethically impeccable Senator Elizabeth
Warren was tearing apart Donald Trump and the convention was on its way.
No doubt about it, the Democrats have had a parade of heavy hitters -- superb
speeches all: from the First Lady the convention's children theme with oblique but
sharp barbs at Donald Trump, from former president Bill Clinton a personal memoir,
hard-hitting Vice President Joe Biden, the billionaire former Mayor of New York
Michael Bloomberg who was once a Republican himself, Tim Kaine the Vice
Presidential nominee and Hillary's religious counter to Mike Pence, and then
President Obama himself, the master orator-in-chief. It left only one question: Who
was listening? The ones voting for Trump, certainly not; the independents, that's the
real issue. We shall soon see from the bump Hillary gets in the polls.
One repeated theme was children, the other her experience. Her limited but
commendable work for children was repeated again and again and again for
repetition is the essence of advertising and a convention is nothing if not a giant
commercial disguised as a mixture of Broadway show and Las Vegas style star
appearances all rolled into one. Even the lighting, a subliminally soothing blue for the
stars ... designed to engender a receptive frame of mind in the millions comprising the
Yes, the children. No mention, of course, of the ones washed upon European
beaches along with or without distraught parents fleeing the hell unleashed on them
in Libya and Syria and other venues through Secretary of State Hillary the Hawk's
The mendacity and cant of politicians remains undisputed and hunger for campaign
dollars unabated. As Wikileaks has brought to light, the terms of sale are now well
established. Physical proximity costs more: It's no random chance; it's a carefully
calibrated pricing system. No mention of any of that; instead the focus of the leak
story was to be the Russians using hackers to manipulate the election!
The finale fizzled as Hillary (not the best speaker) recited a soporific laundry list
sending the home audience into slumber. It's telling and to Mr. Trump's credit that he
holds a press conference every other day almost; Hillary has not held one for nearly
300 days. Perhaps the laundry list does not hold up to close scrutiny, and the ghosts
of the past are surely better left alone. Look out for the presidential debates.
Listening to most of the speakers, one might at the end have been forgiven for
asking, "Who the hell's been in power the last eight years?"