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
November 4, 2016
Mr. President: Chicagoans overcame the force of gravity this week. With a spring in
their step, feet feeling lighter, they propelled themselves to work Thursday morning, a
little groggy from the late revels but pumped up from the adrenaline of the night
Yes, the 108 year old curse has been broken: The Chicago Cubs brought home the
World Series Trophy from Cleveland, whose own over-a-half century drought
continues. It's not all sorrow for Cleveland as the Cavaliers basketball team won the
NBA title in summer. Is it the same Cubs though when the billionaire Ritters now own
the team and can afford to lavish money on them? Be that as it may, for those living
on the north side and the environs further up, it was a sweet victory.
Will they be invited to the White House? Perhaps after the election as Ohioans may
be reminded of the President's and Hillary Clinton's afflictions. Not the smartest move
when Ohio is a battleground state!
Yet politics and foreign policy aftereffects intrude on even this brief interval of
happiness. On the same day young Fatim Jawarah died in the Mediterranean trying
to cross in a rickety boat to Europe from Libya. Before Libya was destroyed by the
US, it was one of the most advanced countries in Africa and economic migrants like
Fatim might have remained as did many sub-Saharan Africans. A US president
should be required to walk among the people he has claimed to help through war.
Fatim was just one of 240 refugees thought to have drowned when two boats sank.
Her story is notable as she was the well-loved goalkeeper of her country Gambia's
national women's soccer team.
Verbrechen Krieg (crime of war) screams the Der Spiegel magazine headline
(October 1, 2016) on its cover. A collage of news pictures, the first one is the iconic
Vietnam photograph of the naked girl running after a napalm attack. Below it Syrian
volunteers rescuing babies in Syria and under that Ukraine. Guns are toys
unsuitable, it seems, for grown-ups. "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war",
Churchill reminded a White House audience. This post-war wisdom apparently fell on
Proving once again that fact is stranger than fiction ... Well, Donald Trump has a
good shot at being president, and in the UK brexit has taken a new twist. The London
High Court in a ruling this week held that parliament is sovereign. It means PM
Teresa May cannot by herself negotiate brexit but must first get authority/legislation to
do so through parliament. As a majority of MPs are against leaving the EU, it poses a
definite hurdle. Mrs. May has decided therefore to appeal the High Court decision.
The appeal process after it concludes in Britain continues (as Britain is still an EU
member) on to the European Court of Justice. In a supreme irony, Britain's EU fate
can then be decided by Europeans!