Weekly Letter to the President
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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
October 23, 2020
Mr. President: The election in the US is held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in
November. A Tuesday was chosen to allow people enough time to drive to the
election site after Sunday, reserved for religious services and rest. Those were the
horse and buggy days and it took a while. The people clearly had greater ardor for
democracy then considering we get a less than 50 percent turnout now when voting
sites are usually less than a five-minute drive.
Most states are either heavily Republican or Democrat so the results there are a
foregone conclusion. The winners get the electors assigned to the state on a basis of
population. The electors then vote for the nominees receiving the most votes in the
state when the electoral college meets.
There are about a dozen battleground or swing states; among them Pennsylvania
and Florida are prized for their high electoral votes -- hence the repeated visits by the
candidates. Trump won both in 2016. Will he this time?
Meanwhile two New York papers are busy running negative stories on candidates
they oppose. The New York Times offers tidbits against Trump. The latest this week
is that Trump has a Chinese bank account. The fact is not new since the information
was filed with his tax returns -- one has to report foreign bank accounts over $10,000
-- but the news is intended as an example of Trump's hypocrisy for he has been
speaking out against doing business in China. The accounts in the name of Trump
International Hotels have been moribund since 2015.
The New York Post, much less distinguished than the Times, is after Hunter Biden
and through him his father, candidate Joe Biden. Last week the Post unearthed a
dubious email purporting to show then Vice President Biden possibly meeting with
Hunter's potential business partner. This week there is a photograph of the Bidens,
father and son, flanked by a Kazakh oligarch on one side and a former president of
Kazakhstan on the other. The latest on the email issue has a certain Tony
Bobulinski, one of the recipients, confirming the Post email adding that Hunter sought
Dad's advice on deals. There is also a proposed equity split referring to '20' for 'H'
and '10 held by H for the big guy.'
New York State may be a secure prize for Democrats but news stories these days are
picked up on the internet and spread nationally and internationally. Surely the two
newspapers have something really big up their sleeves for the week before the
Charges and counter-charges in the final presidential debate. Biden repeatedly
blamed Trump for deaths from the Covid 19 epidemic. On almost everything Biden
promised, Trump's rejoinder was why he had not done it in the 47 years he was in
public office including 8 years as vice president. This included mimicking Biden's
previously successful tactic of talking directly to the public. The same interests fund
both major parties and they generally get what they want except that Trump mostly
funded his campaign himself.
From all the ridiculousness to the sublime. Images of M87 are the first of any black
hole swallowing whatever is within range. We are told of the discovery of a black hole
in the center of our own Milky Way, presumably the eventual destination of everything
in our galaxy. From this perspective the Trump-Biden debate, although quite
important for our immediate future, seems to diminish to nothing in significance.