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 13, 2015
Mr. President: There is a new movie called: "The Program". It is a biopic of Lance
Armstrong the cycling champion who returned to racing after fighting back cancer to
win the Tour de France. Hailed as a hero and tribute his performance was gainsaid
by rational thought ... and a persistent reporter, David Walsh of the UK's Sunday
Times. Despite angry and persistent denials, he was finally exposed as a cheat.
Just as it would be grossly unfair to ban all American cyclists, it is so with Russian
athletes. I remember Soviet teams from long ago with female shot putters more
hirsute than many a 19-year old male, just as I remember some of our female
runners, of two or three decades ago, having a musculature worthy of a Mr. Universe.
Unfortunately, given the glory, fame and now fortune, cheating in sports is
everywhere, often overlooked by those at the top because of the dollars clanking in.
Banning the whole Russian team will dilute the Olympics and politicizing the Olympics
is antithetical to the spirit of the event. Let's keep politics out, punish the ones caught
-- too few at a guess -- and get on with the fun.
Mass shootings here are reaching epidemic proportions -- enough to attract the
attention and sarcasm of the foreign press. A cartoon shows a man in a shop named
'Guns and Ammo'. The salesman is being shown as ID a piece of paper certifying the
customer as insane. 'That'll do,' says the salesman.
Here is what the data tell us. Almost all the perpetrators of these mass shootings are
young, white males. As by and large, they are all labeled insane after the shooting,
young white males are not being harassed by police, or being shot for looking at them
the wrong way. They are not part of the horror stories of police shootings.
If an equally disturbed person of a different ethnic or religious affiliation is the
perpetrator, he is instantly a terrorist. Suddenly, the whole nation is under threat.
The media and the national discourse are responsible for creating this insane climate
of fear, unchallenged by our leaders.
In a new poll, 60 percent of people now believe that Hillary Clinton did something
illegal or unethical in relation to Benghazi. Fortunately for her, no one remembers or
understands her magical success in converting $1000 into $100,000 through one
year's commodity trading. Her son-in-law, whose hedge fund is losing money could
surely do with her expertise!
The polls also indicate that voters are accepting of women or Latino candidates but
socialism is a dirty word. So much for the comfortable, well-off Scandinavians,
Germans and Swiss and even the Canadians. Worse still, it does not bode well for
the straight-talking Bernie Sanders.
On the GOP side, the leaders are Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson of the "full
scholarship to West Point," who believes fervently the biblical Joseph built the
pyramids to store grain, and who does not believe in evolution.
Interesting choices for the voters and there is one important fact in the Donald's
favor: he is using his own money unbeholden to donors.