My Dinner With A Psychopath

A cozy little table in a quiet restaurant off the beaten path. The menu simple, refined. Wine, smooth and drinkable. A small jazz band tributes Monk. A pleasant evening during which I, the 44th President of the United States and my companion, Mullah Mohammed Omar discourse breezily on the difference between strict and moderate applications of Sharia law, in particular how a man schooled in the strict version, such as Omar himself, might publicly stone or flog a woman caught reading in public and how a moderate member of his organization might.

Omar offered to find such a member of the Taliban to answer my questions on moderate applications of Sharia law. Where are the fissures concerning Haram offenses? A thoughtful question, one worth pondering. He knew of one scholar who took a casual view toward pre-marital intercourse. The man can't answer the phone or write letters, his hands were chopped off for expressing his views. Omar would ask him personally.

Desert followed, dinner concluded, taxis to our hotels. We part not quite friends, more intellectual sparring partners. Much like professorial life in Hyde Park where this scene occurred, always enjoyably, with Friedman's disciples, though without agreement about, say, theories of wage/price inflation. A fine evening.

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