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
December 7, 2012
Four years ago the Bush administration wanted to relax FCC rules enabling further
media consolidation. They held public hearings and public outrage was apparent.
Congress, too, responded and you apparently wrote a letter opposing the move.
It is four years later, and your appointee Julius Genachowski, whose, wedding in 1991
to Martha Raddatz (divorced 1997) you attended, is now, quietly this time but surely,
about to do the same. Do we really want a Rupert Murdoch owning all the major
newspapers across the country? Just the fact this story has received little press in
the organs of our half-dozen media conglomerates should be warning enough of the
dangers of further consolidation. One hopes this is not a foretaste of change in the
second term, and that a letter not unlike the one four years ago will shortly be
delivered to Chairman Genachowski. One last question: Whatever happened to
public hearings for significant policy revisions?
The UN Climate Summit can't seem to agree on anything. The Kyoto Protocol
extended will only kick the can down the road. In the meantime, 'once-in-a-lifetime'
weather catastrophes continue to happen with tragic and frequent repetition:
hurricane Sandy devastating New Jersey and New York; severe US drought affecting
90 percent of Nebraska and large parts of the Midwest hiking corn and wheat prices
that will likely affect the impoverished across the world in an increasingly globalized
market; Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, the worst in more than half a century
causing death and destruction on a scale that brought tears to the emotionally
wrought Philippine delegate reciting the event in Doha as well as to his listeners;
severe flooding again in Britain; your hometown of Chicago enjoying a balmy autumn
week in December instead of being covered in snow. While countries haggle over
causational responsibility and the current largest polluters, scientists warn of an
impending 4-degree Celsius temperature increase within our children's lifetimes and
going over the tipping point. Should not the wealthier countries assume a greater
conciliatory role as well as accept some measure of financial sacrifice for the last two
centuries of industrial pollution inflicted on our planet?
In the Middle East, Iran captured a second drone. Some believe they hacked into its
software, while others offer different crash scenarios. They now have two virtually
intact drones to study. The outside supported insurgencies in Iran's northwest and
southeast, the crippling sanctions, the constant air surveillance, the saber-rattling by
Israelis, the all-options-on-the-table rhetoric -- it makes one wonder if all this really
encourages Iran to negotiate, or does it increase paranoia, particularly when it has
noted what happened to Gadaffi after he agreed to abandon his nuclear ambitions.