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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/2/09

Open Letter to Obama

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment, In Series: Tracts for Our Times

Dear Mr. Obama,

I'd like to discuss a few issues I'm having with some of your decisions regarding the well being of this country.  I guess I should mention that I didn't vote for you last November. I didn't vote for McCain, either, but I did vote.

First of all, I'd like to talk about these torture memos. They're pretty intense, aren't they?  They're rather like Al Capone sending out a mass mailing detailing a myriad of his transgressions. I think the Justice Department would have been virtually orgasmic over such an event.  Of course, we're not talking about a Chicago gangster here who sold a bunch of booze, killed a few people and didn't pay his taxes. I'll bet Al Capone tortured, too. I  just get that from the movies – tie a guy to a chair and beat him silly until he told you something you wanted to know. 

In this case, however,we're talking about international law, treaties, and such.  We're talking about war crimes and people trying to get information, right or wrong, to validate us invading and occupying a sovereign nation like Iraq.

Then, a couple of days after the memos are released, you're telling CIA agents not to worry about any kind of investigation or prosecution. Then, your minions take it farther up the ladder.  Your "don't look back, look ahead" rationale sounds very – how shall I say? – forgiving.  But I have to tell you.  It doesn't work. It's a panacea.  I tried it on the meter maid.  I'll admit, I was guilty as sin.  I  let the meter expire by ten minutes, but when I told her not to look back, but to look ahead, she handed me the ticket and said, "you look ahead to $45".  That hurt.

At the same time, I can really understand why you don't want an investigation, let alone prosecution.  My god, man, if there was an investigation and the culprits were exposed, we'd be faced with a flood of special state elections to fill all of those vacant Congressional and Senate seats.  And we know that we don't have the money for such a thing.

Speaking of money, I also have some issues with how you plan to jumpstart the economy.  The way I see it, the taxpayer is loaning the banks money so the banks can loan it back to the taxpayer.  I'm not an economist, but this just doesn't make sense.  I really don't have an issue with this "trickle down" theory.  I just think you guys are looking at the pyramid up-side-down.  You're looking at it like this - △ – with the banks at the top and all of us at the bottom.  Gravity is on your side.  Pour the money on top and it trickles down to the bottom.  My suggestion is that you look at the pyramid like this – ▽ –with the banks at the bottom and the people at the top.  Gravity works here, too.  You just pour the money into the top and let it funnel its way down. And you take good care of all the people along the way.

Since you're the boss, I think you should have a close look at your economic team.  I really don't think they can count.  The population of the planet has gone from about 2.5 billion to 6.7 billion in less than a century.  The US population has more than doubled since 1930. Technology has allowed that fewer workers are needed to produce goods than in the past, and a bunch of our jobs have been sent overseas.  Basically, you have way more people vying for way fewer jobs.  The irony is that nobody seems to be paying much attention to that.

It's been nearly 70 years since the 40-hour work week was introduced.  In that time, retirement age has gone up, population has increased, unions have been in decline and technology has reduced the need for labor. Service organization have sprung up all over the place. Companies do payroll services for hundreds of small businesses because they can do it for less than each company doing their own.  That's pretty cool unless you're one of the out-of-work payroll clerks.

There's a lot of feeling against a single-payer health system in favor of employers providing healthcare.  At the same time, employers need fewer people in their workforce, so fewer are insured and the number of uninsured continues to rise.  Now, it seems to me that your high-paid whiz kids should be able to figure that out.  Maybe you can give them a high school math efficiency test and see if any of them pass.

There's a lot of other stuff I'd like to discuss, like these wars you have us in.  I'm very concerned about teaching our kids how to guide drone planes from Nevada and have them drop bombs on people half way around the world.  That bothers me.  There's a certain covert evil about it.  But I'm getting a bit long-winded here, so I'll stop.

I don't envy you your job,Mr. B.  I don't hold a lot of Faith in Hope.  It was the last thing in Pandora's Box.  Hope and a dime won't make a phone call, so I think you should put your energies into making this planet of ours more sustainable, take care of its people and all the kinds of life it offers.  Otherwise,things look pretty bleak from where I'm sitting.



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I've never claimed to have all of the answers, but refuse to sacrifice my right to ask all of the questions and expect answers in return. One needs to have a lot of ideas in order to stumble across a few good ones.
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