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 15, 2013
Mr. President: The measure of a society's civilization, it is said, is the manner in which
it treats its weak and defenseless. We are informed now that Social Security is on the
table for cuts. The cost of living adjustment (COLA) modified in the Clinton era to
exclude food and gas, items of primary interest to seniors, is to be re-evaluated for a
projected savings of $230 billion over the next decade. Guess whose pockets the
money will come from? This is when the current COLA does not reflect real inflation
or the severe erosion of the dollar. When the EURO was introduced, 80 cents would
buy one; now it takes over $1.30. The dollar's value has effectively halved as has the
wealth of U.S. citizens in international terms.
The man who transformed the twentieth century more than any other, Henry Ford,
doubled wages to $5 a day. It would be akin to doubling the income of someone
earning $35,000 at present to $70,000. His theory: they would be able to buy his
cars and they would be less inclined to leave his employment saving training costs.
The idea worked although he had trouble with his investors. Ford hated bankers
calling them parasites.
As the rents extracted for capital have soared -- and they do not have to be just
interest -- labor has been marginalized. The results are transparent: the U.S., once
one of the most equal, is now the most unequal society among the industrialized
countries and worse than even some developing countries.
Candidate Obama talked about Main Street getting a fair shake not just Wall Street,
but President Obama fell in love with Wall Street calling major players 'savvy' and the
'best we've got'. All true, but they are looking after their interests; you, Sir, are
supposed to be looking after ours.
A week ago Bill Moyers called the new healthy care law a 'Rube Goldberg
contraption'. That it is when a single-payer plan would have been simple, and, at the
time was favored by 76 percent of the people. It did not require a dismantling
(witness Canada) of the health care system as you have claimed, rather it changed
the payment process reducing costs and making health insurers redundant.
In the U.K., Prime Minister Cameron's party is busy taking down his speeches off their
website. As a general election looms, they do not want an easily available source of
broken promises. Several observers in the U.S. have noted your record in this
category transcends others taking political flexibility with the truth to a new level. Polls
now reflect people's realization as the health care law affects large numbers, and it is
ironic because it is truly intended to help them.
Meanwhile, the mutually beneficial Iran deal has been vetoed by France's Foreign
Minister, Laurent Fabius, who fortified his neo-con credentials some years ago
teaching at the University of Chicago. It explains the French government's
interventionist stance despite being left-leaning. In the Iran case, rumor has it they
are also about ready to sign a fighter plane deal selling the Rafale to the Saudis, who
famously called Iran the 'head of the snake'.