Weekly Letter to the President
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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 15, 2017 (posted December 17)

Mr. President:  We live in a world of denial:  The Burmese deny the Rohingya; they
call them Bengali even though they have lived in Burma for centuries -- some say as
early as the 11th century.  Even the Pope, afraid of the consequences to a small
Christian minority, shied away during his visit, confining himself to the
all-encompassing phrase, the rights of minorities.

In Israel, right-wing Israelis deny any Palestinian claim on Jerusalem falling back on its
governance by the British and Ottomans.  No matter that East Jerusalem (where  the
holy sites mostly are) is inhabited by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, they don't
count.  This disenfranchised group is denied permission to build housing for
expanding families because successive Israeli governments have sought to alter the
demographics.  If they build without a permit, the housing is demolished.  Should
anyone need to be reminded, Rachel Corrie lost her life while protesting a house
demolition; she was run over by a bulldozer.  

Extremist Christians in the U.S. deny evolution despite the data collected over nearly
two centuries furnishing undeniable proof of Darwin's theory.  No, they prefer to
believe in a seven-day creation, where light arrived before the stars including our
sun, and where we humans frolicked with dinosaurs.

In India, Mr. Modi is advancing a new Hinduism.  He wants to sideline the contributions
of Muslim culture on the arts, poetry, architecture.  If one thinks of India, the
architectural vision appearing instantly in one's mind is of the sublime Taj Mahal.  Yet,
the Taj Mahal has been taken off the list of government recommended tourist sites --
replaced by a couple of temples in Gorakhpur.  Mr. Modi needs a close look in the
mirror, his clothing is either Muslim-influenced or European.  The same applied to
India's founder and his eponymous Nehru coat and tight pants (churidars as they are

In this country, we have had a parade of sexual predators paying for their unwanted
sexual advances towards women whose future career these men often controlled.  In
a changed climate, a flurry of resignations, and, of course, denials.  As Al Franken
pointed out in his parting words, the predator-in-chief is still ensconced in the White
House -- some sites have tallied the 19 women accusing him so far.  

The modus operandi remains consistent.  Just as Harvey Weinstein preferred the
open bathrobe and a blatant request, Mr. Trump appears to favor a sudden octopus
like attack of kissing, groping and hand up the skirt -- in keeping with his claimed
'locker room talk' ... 'I like to grab 'em by the p---y' that was inadvertently recorded.

The denials continue and Congress continues with the infinitely more important task
of tax cuts for the rich.  It's a party where everyone is enjoying himself -- the rich
'everyone' that is.  So who wants to spit in the punch.  Yes, Mr. Trump will be with us
for a while yet.