Weekly Letter to President Obama
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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
July 15, 2016

Mr. President:  This has been a violent week.  The five slain Dallas police officers had
barely been laid to rest when Nice erupted.  A disturbed 31-year old French citizen of
Tunisian extraction was the culprit.  His wife had left him; he had gotten into a fight
following a traffic accident recently; and he had a criminal record.  He did not have
any ties to Islamic radical groups.

The shock of 84 dead and many wounded, including about 50 whose condition is
precarious, has Europe mourning and much of the world mourning.  Here in the US,
aside from the usual messages of sympathy, we have Newt Gingrich rising from the
near-dead.  After a checkered career as Speaker of the House, and famous for his
unusual sensibilities (or a lack thereof), he is also remembered for telling his wife he
was divorcing her as she lay in her hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery.

A few days in the limelight as a possible VP candidate with Trump, and he announces
a Sharia test for American Muslims.  Dumped overboard from his ship of state if they
believe in Sharia law.  But as in law everywhere there are countless interpretations.  
There are also aspects feminists could approve of ...  like alimony and female
inheritance -- aspects predating incorporation into western jurisprudence by 1300
plus years.

Mr. Gingrich would also find it difficult to justify elements of US criminal law,
particularly the "three strikes you are out" feature resulting in many instances
emulating Jean Valjean's "19 years for a loaf of bread."

Kashmir is again suffering violence.  Following the killing of a popular militant leader,
demonstrations with young men throwing rocks at security forces have been met with
live fire.  Even in Israel rubber bullets are used ... not so in Kashmir where life is
cheap.  The official death toll so far:  36 dead and 1500 wounded.