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
August 24, 2012
Mr. President: Another twelve soldiers killed in incidents involving Afghan Army
trainees turning on their trainees. The desperate expression of a simmering hatred,
these incidents are quite likely the tip of an iceberg. So what of the Afghan Army we
propose to leave behind?
Here in Ohio, a swing state, the presidential political ads are flying fast and furious
hurling half-truths like mud pie,s hoping the mud will stick. The organizations paying
for the ads are mushrooming and their backers mysterious.
With as much difference between the candidates as a Coke or Pepsi, the whole flavor
of the campaign is like a brand war. Win the public through a memorable phrase or
jingle. Is this a mature democracy, or is it a prelude to a 'strong leader' who dispenses
with a bickering do-nothing legislature.
It has happened to a Western democracy before -- for example, France under
General de Gaulle in the late fifties. They too had an intractable problem. Ours is
strangulation of policy by narrow self interests; there it was Algeria. Well, they've
solved their problem and France has prospered ... and developed stable
governments as well as distinctive political parties.
The question is, will we?