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 6, 2015
Mr. President: This week China rolled out its new passenger jet with a range of 5500
km (3400 miles) meaning it is capable of coast to coast service in the US. It will be
competing internationally implying a serious headache for Boeing and Airbus in the
medium range market. The Chinese plane will be ready for sale after testing is
completed, most likely in two years.
A second 90 passenger regional jet is in the offing. Other Chinese high-tech exports
include nuclear power plants designed for export. A deal worth 40 billion pounds
sterling has been signed in Britain jointly with France's EDF.
China is also exporting high speed trains. They have a contract to install a system in
Vietnam. A long way from that, we seem to be having problems keeping our
antiquated trains on the rails in your adopted home town of Chicago -- one derailed
This column has begged, pleaded and exhorted you to work on infrastructure. What
did we get? Band-aid projects. The roads are full of potholes, the rail stock dated,
the bridges unsafe. The country has a shabby look. Just visit Niagara Falls and note
the Canadian and US sides. The difference hits you like a sledgehammer.
According to World Bank figures, China surpassed the US in 2014 as the largest
economy on a PPP (purchasing power parity) basis. They are followed successively
by India, Japan, Russia, Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, France and lastly the UK in the
first ten countries listed. China has also supplanted the US as the largest trading
partner of most countries. It is also the largest trading partner in the African
continent, the fastest growing in the world -- where there are now three cell phones
for every four persons.
It begs the question: Why did the US ignore Africa during the Obama first term. With
a US president fathered by a Kenyan, Africans expected much on economic front but
nothing happened, literally nothing, to their amazement and obvious disappointment.
Instead they got Libya.
There was no evidence of an impending massacre in Benghazi. As we know, a total
of less than 250 people had been killed in the Libyan army's advance against the
rebels. 'We came. We saw. He died.' So said our illustrious Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton despite the hideous footage of his killing, so hideous it needs to be
stated -- he was sodomized by a bayonet by her allies. The same allies presumably
who later killed the US ambassador.
The weird Mr. Gadaffi, despite his eccentricities, had grown Libya into leading Africa
on the Human Development Index scale. A precious water system to bring water from
the south to the Tripoli area was bombed by the US. Why? How did that help the
Mrs. Clinton has still not explained how she converted $1000 into $100,000 over the
course of a year's commodity trading -- about as likely for a naive trader as being hit
by lightning, not once but many times. Small potatoes now but at that time it was
three times Bill's annual salary. According to a Forbes report (October 19, 2015) the
power couple have earned $230 million since Bill left office of which even the astute
investigators of the report cannot trace $50 million. Bahamas? Virgin Islands? Isle of
Mann? No matter how many deposits Bill makes, he will always be remembered for
the one he made on a young intern's dress.
America is a land of wonderful, hard working people, misgoverned into what former
President Carter says is no longer a democracy. The politicians do not have to be
accountable to the people, only the select few who help pay for the TV ads to help
them get elected. Mr. Carter keeps going. Despite cancer, its therapies and their
effects, he was out helping to build a home with Habitat International. That's at age
91. I hope he reaches a century and beyond. There is an old expression: A man is
known by the company he keeps.