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September 15, 2015


By Arshad M Khan

Each year a robin returns to build a nest on the same bend in a downspout under the
eaves.  This year she suffered a misfortune.  The winding clematis usually shielding
her nest had been pruned short and took a while to grow back, and we all know what
happens to an exposed nest.  She lost her two beautiful blue eggs and the nest itself
was damaged.

It's a solid piece of work, a robin's nest, beautifully constructed basket weave in a
shallow, cylindrical shape -- firm, robust surround and base, yet cushioned inside.

Despite the tragedy, our little robin, undaunted, set about repairing the nest and
before long had a new tenant, another lovely blue egg, just one this time, so more
comfortably accommodated.  What a persevering bird!  The egg has hatched, the
chick grows visibly each day, and if one approaches, opens its beak wide, ready to be
fed.  Soon it will fledge; I am confident for the clematis has now grown around the nest
camouflaging it perfectly.  One can only admire the little robin's perseverance and
root for her success.

It reminded me of the PBS documentary on the Roosevelts, particularly the episode
on Franklin D., his remarkable perseverance despite intense opposition:  from
Congress, the economically powerful, even the Supreme Court.  He proceeded to give
us social security (still the mainstay of a majority of the elderly) bank legislation to
protect us from the ravages of avaricious bank speculation, and a host of other
measures leading to a doubling of personal income in his first four years.  What have
his democrat successors done?

Bill Clinton effectively cut social security by basing its cost of living adjustments on a
new abstraction, quite separate from the inflation reality the elderly face.

Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall, the law proscribing speculation by commercial
banks.  These are facts, as are the following:  Bill Clinton has made well over $100
million dollars since he left office.  The speaking fee sideline has mushroomed, for in
the last year alone the Clintons together earned $25 million dollars.  Because the
American public has a short attention span, Hillary wanted this one out and dealt with
at the outset.

Of course any thinking person believes implicitly and firmly in banks and the financial
industry as bastions of charity for past and prospective presidents.  Why would they
otherwise lavish such largesse?

So as we talk about inequality in the dying embers of one democratic presidential term
and the lighted tinder of perhaps another, what hope for real change?  This observer
for one has a sincere belief in the tooth fairy.

The author is retired and an occasional commentator.